This is a stunning essay on the rise and possible fall of secularism in the West. Is the thesis correct though? There are big gaps in either view.
This essay represents what might be called a radical friendly amendment to the revisionists. It questions the theory of secularization and, by extension, its father Nietzsche, not by citing current facts about religious renewal or historical facts about Christianityâ€™s influence, but rather by exploring a hitherto unexamined logical leap in the famous story line. To be fancy about it for a moment, what secularization theory assumes is that religious belief comes ontologically first for people and that it goes on to determine or shape other things they do â€” including such elemental personal decisions as whether they marry and have children or not.10 Implied here is a striking, albeit widely assumed, view of how one social phenenomenon powers another: that religious believers are more likely to produce families because religious belief somehow comes first.