Ah, the Economist, ever on the cutting edge of the latest trends. Don’t you just want to say, Duh?
In their new book, “God Is Back,” John Micklethwait, editor in chief of The Economist, and Adrian Wooldridge, that magazine’s Washington bureau chief, argue that religion is “returning to public life” around the world, that “the great forces of modernity — technology and democracy, choice and freedom — are all strengthening religion rather than undermining it,” that these days “religion is playing a much more important role in public and intellectual life.” They assert that “religion is becoming a matter of choice,” something that individuals themselves decide to believe in instead of something imposed upon them, and that “the surge of religion is being driven by the same two things that have driven the success of market capitalism: competition and choice.”
The market approach is right on, though. I’ve argued that neoliberal economy empties the public sphere of viable secular political options, making the transcendent reference of religion a necessity of sorts.