Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?  

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"I cannot see a way out."--Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth? (2010) by Eric Kaufmann, p. 16

"In most Muslim contexts, the demographic transition is still in its early or middle stages, so we would not expect to see as dramatic an effect. Still, we might ask: do Islamists have higher fertility than moderate Muslims, and what might we expect in terms of Islamist population growth and the demographic radicalization of Islam? In some cases, conservative Islam clearly delayed the onset of secular demographic processes, raising fertility. In Jack Goldstone's words, 'Some countries – mainly those with large Muslim populations – have been quite resistant to a reduction in birth rates; thus their population growth rates have remained high.' (Goldstone 2007) Pakistan is an interesting case, because it contrasts markedly with poorer Bangladesh next door. In Pakistan, religious authorities resisted birth control more than Bangladesh, whose principal brand of Islam has historically been less puritanical. " --"Go Forth and Multiply" with Vegard Skirbekk in Political Demography (2012)

"This book argues that religious fundamentalists are on course to take over the world through demography."--Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth? (2010) by Eric Kaufmann, p. 1

"Fundamentalism is a modern response to the threat of secularism."--Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth? (2010) by Eric Kaufmann, p. 2

"In Europe, interfaith coalitions challenge liberal abortion and blasphemy laws. Inside the bureaucratic corridors of the UN, the Vatican, American Protestant fundamentalists and Islamists are joining hands to fight family planning and women's rights." --Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth? (2010) by Eric Kaufmann, p. 13

"'If no solution is found,' warns Philip Longman in The Empty Cradle (2004), 'the future will belong to those who reject markets, reject learning, reject modernity, and reject freedom. This will be the fundamentalist moment.'" --Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth? (2010) by Eric Kaufmann, p. 17

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?: Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century (2010) is a book by Eric Kaufmann. The book examens the secularization thesis from a demographic standpoint.


Dawkins and Hitchens have convinced many western intellectuals that secularism is the way forward. But most people don't read their books before deciding whether to be religious. Instead, they inherit their faith from their parents, who often innoculate them against the elegant arguments of secularists. And what no one has noticed is that far from declining, the religious are expanding their share of the population: in fact, the more religious people are, the more children they have. The cumulative effect of immigration from religious countries, and religious fertility will be to reverse the secularisation process in the West. Not only will the religious eventually triumph over the non-religious, but it is those who are the most extreme in their beliefs who have the largest families.

Within Judaism, the Ultra-Orthodox may achieve majority status over their liberal counterparts by mid-century. Islamist Muslims have won the culture war in much of the Muslim world, and their success provides a glimpse of what awaits the Christian West and Israel. Based on a wealth of demographic research, considering questions of multiculturalism and terrorism, Kaufmann examines the implications of the decline in liberal secularism as religious conservatism rises - and what this means for the future of western modernity.


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