God's Partisans Are Back
April 17, 2011
Authors Monica Duffy Toft, Timothy Shah, and Daniel Philpott criticize secularization theory’s hold on America’s foreign-policy establishment, especially in light of the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak’s regime and the possible ascendancy of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. The writers suggest that secularism is a poor analytical tool, and it has proven unable to predict the resurgence of religion’s influence. To explain religion’s resurgence, Toft and Shah point to the processes of modernization, democratization, and globalization. They conclude that if U.S. foreign-policy makers better understood religion, they would become more adept at working with religious groups to promote democracy, development, and stability. The 21st century has presented us with a reality at odds with the one secularization theory promised; as such, we have to build new theories and policy strategies for the religious age we live in, and not the secular age that never came.