Receive "The World According to Tom Barnett" Brief
Where I Work
Search the Site
Buy Tom's Books
  • Great Powers: America and the World After Bush
    Great Powers: America and the World After Bush
    by Thomas P.M. Barnett
  • Blueprint for Action: A Future Worth Creating
    Blueprint for Action: A Future Worth Creating
    by Thomas P.M. Barnett
  • The Pentagon's New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-first Century
    The Pentagon's New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-first Century
    by Thomas P.M. Barnett
  • Romanian and East German Policies in the Third World: Comparing the Strategies of Ceausescu and Honecker
    Romanian and East German Policies in the Third World: Comparing the Strategies of Ceausescu and Honecker
    by Thomas P.M. Barnett
  • The Emily Updates (Vol. 1): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    The Emily Updates (Vol. 1): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    by Vonne M. Meussling-Barnett, Thomas P.M. Barnett
  • The Emily Updates (Vol. 2): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    The Emily Updates (Vol. 2): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    by Thomas P.M. Barnett, Vonne M. Meussling-Barnett
  • The Emily Updates (Vol. 3): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    The Emily Updates (Vol. 3): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    by Thomas P.M. Barnett, Vonne M. Meussling-Barnett
  • The Emily Updates (Vol. 4): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    The Emily Updates (Vol. 4): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    by Thomas P.M. Barnett, Vonne M. Meussling-Barnett
  • The Emily Updates (Vol. 5): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    The Emily Updates (Vol. 5): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    by Vonne M. Meussling-Barnett, Thomas P.M. Barnett, Emily V. Barnett
Monthly Archives
Powered by Squarespace
« Of course, eventually terrorists ALWAYS use the latest technology against us. Tell me something I don't know | Main | Historian failing as futurist »
5:35AM

West Must Bridge Globalization's 'God Gap'

islam1.png

A recent report issued by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs highlights an enduring but growing mismatch between how America conducts its foreign policy and how the world beyond the West is spiritually evolving. Describing what the newspapers immediately dubbed a "God gap," the report (.pdf) decries Washington's "uncompromising Western secularism" as a self-imposed obstacle to broadband engagement of religious groups and parties in emerging economies and failed states. This, despite the fact that many of these religious actors are playing leading roles in facilitating their societies' embrace -- or driving their rejection -- of globalization's numerous opportunities and challenges.

Continue reading this week's New Rules column at WPR.

Reader Comments (4)

[i]- To exploit the progressive political impulses of that awakening, a competitive religious marketplace -- where all faiths must compete equally for believers, without benefit of state sponsorship -- must be encouraged.[/i]I guess this is the point in the article I don't understand. Do people really shop for religions? What characterizes as successful religious marketplace? By what rules should it operate? (i.e. should there be any government oversight, as there is for economic markets and cultural markets - copyright, etc.)
March 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Emery
Excellent! Puts an insightful perspective... especially for the USA who include a large population of 'people of faith' and have varying degrees of fervency.

March 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDan Hare
Great article. I hope Tom gets E-mail feedback from government and media players. I'd also like to see the insights of people with Amish and Mennonite backgrounds.
March 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLouis Heberlein
Americans change religion more frequently over their lifetimes than any other society in the world (show in studies). That's a competitive religious landscape.

And yes, Americans do shop for religions all the time. Not all Americans, but a good portion. They keep switching churches til they find the right fit. I've done it within Catholicism (by parish) and have switched to Episcopalian and back. Only one member of my immediate family has stayed with a single religion their entire life.

Find out you're gay and your current religion condemns that? Not a problem. Three or four adjacent ones will let you in.

Ditto for a host of other issues/characteristics/life changes.

There is a huge political/social effect here: in a society where people travel up and down with relative ease, they need to be able to swap out their religions to match their changed circumstances--if they so want.

it also helps to be an immigrant culture, because we see every religion in the world here in the States. Canada and Australia aren't that different, for that reason.
March 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTom Barnett

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>