Bishop's Encyclopedia of Religion, Society and Philosophy


The atheist Steven Weinberg once remarked that “the world needs to wake up from its long nightmare of religious belief” (1). I suspect, as we shall see, that our friend Weinberg will be waiting for a good while yet. According to the brochure of the atheist Beyond Belief conference (in 2006) “Just 40 years after a famous Time magazine cover asked ‘Is God Dead?’ the answer appears to be a resounding ‘No!’ According to a survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life in a recent issue of Foreign Policy magazine, ‘God is Winning’. Religions are increasingly a geopolitical force to be reckoned with. Fundamentalist movements – some violent in the extreme – are growing” (2).

Stats support this religious growth as well as the decline of atheism. A study by the Center for the Study of Global Christianity suggests that religion is growing and atheism is declining (11). For instance, in…

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