March 23, 2011
God’s Century: Resurgent Religion and Global Politics
Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche famously proclaimed, “God is dead.” On the contrary, religion's power has surged over the past four decades, with the result that religious groups around the world, such as Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, are poised for greater influence. Monica Duffy Toft, Daniel Philpott, and Timothy Samuel Shah, authors of the new book God's Century: Resurgent Religion and Global Politics (Norton 2011) discussed how religion’s influence has been propelled by modernization and democratization, and what it means for today’s politics. Ross Douthat of the New York Times served as discussant and Michael Cromartie of the Ethics & Public Policy Center served as moderator.
Timothy Samuel Shah is Associate Director of the Religious
Freedom Project at the Berkley Center For Religion, Peace, and World
Affairs and Visiting Assistant Professor in the Government Department,
Georgetown University. He is a political scientist specializing in the relationship
between religion and political freedom in theory, history, and contemporary
practice. Shah is author, with Monica Duffy Toft and Daniel Philpott, of God’s Century: Resurgent Religion and Global Politics (W.W. Norton, 2011) and is editor of an Oxford University Press series on “Evangelical Christianity and Democracy in the Global South” that has so far generated three volumes. His articles on religion and global politics have appeared in Foreign Affairs,
Foreign Policy, the Journal of Democracy, the Review of Politics, and elsewhere.
Monica Duffy Toft is Associate Professor of Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government and Director of the Initiative on Religion in International Affairs. She holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. from the University of Chicago and a B.A. in Political Science and Slavic Languages and Literatures from the University of California, Santa Barbara, summa cum laude. Professor Toft was a research intern at the RAND Corporation and served in the U.S. Army in southern Germany as a Russian linguist for four years. She was the assistant director of the John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies from 1999-2006. Her research interests include international relations, religion, nationalism and ethnic conflict, civil and interstate wars, the relationship between demography and national security, and military and strategic planning.
Daniel Philpott is exploring Catholic and Protestant contributions to democracy from the years 1800-2000 for the Christianity and Freedom Project. Dr. Philpott is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Philpott is the author of Revolutions in Sovereignty: How Ideas Shaped Modern International Relations (Princeton 2001) and a range of articles on religion and international affairs, sovereignty, religious freedom and foreign policy, and the ethics of self-determination. He is currently working on a book titled Just and Unjust Peace: A Political Ethic of Reconciliation that proposes a set of ethics for countries dealing with past injustices. As a Senior Associate at the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy in Washington, DC, he has sought to promote faith-based reconciliation in Kashmir since 2000.
Michael Cromartie is Vice President at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, where he directs the Faith Angle Forum and the Evangelicals in Civic Life programs. He is also a senior advisor to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, a Senior...
Ross Douthat has been an Op-Ed columnist with The New York Times since April 2009. Previously, he was a senior editor at the Atlantic and a blogger for theatlantic.com. He is the author of Privilege: Harvard and the Education of the Ruling Class...