Perhaps Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens have won the argument for secularism with the majority of the West. But the facts point in the other direction: what no one has noticed is that far from declining, religious populations are actually multiplying. This extraordinary demographic phenomenon indicates that the more religious people are, the more children they will have.Within Judaism, the Ultra-Orthodox will almost certainly achieve a majority status over their liberal counterparts this century. Evangelical and neo-traditional Christians will follow suit and Islamist Muslims and are not far behind. Not only will the religious eventually triumph over the non-religious, but it is those who are the most extreme who have the largest families. Drawing on extensive demographic research, and considering questions of multiculturalism, nationalism and terrorism, Kaufmann examines the implications of the decline in liberal secularism as religious conservatism rises - and what it will mean for the future of western modernity.
Eric Kaufmann is a fellow at the Belfer Centre, Harvard University, and former Reader in Politics and Sociology at Birkbeck. He is a frequent contributor to Prospect and other publications.