Document Type

Journal Article


Until the presidency of George W Bush and September 11, 2001 there was not a great deal of public interest in the place of religion in the contemporary world. True, Samuel Huntington’s ‘Clash of Civilizations’ thesis had excited some interest in a possible conflict between the West and Islam. In general, however, with declining church membership and attendance in most Western countries it was assumed that the developed world, with America the only major exception, was slowly, but inexorably, on the road to complete secularity. This meant that discussion of religion tended to focus on such matters as the decline of Christianity, the possibility of female and gay priests and ‘moral’ issues such as abortion.