Micklethwait and Wooldridge show that modernisation and an increase in religiosity go together in much of the world. Some of the most powerful sections of the book feature narratives of religious communities in improbable places - prosperous, highly educated Chinese, among them scientists and academics, coming together in contemporary Shanghai to read and discuss the Christian Bible, for example.
If there is any trend that can be discerned in the parts of the world that are most rapidly modernising, it is that secular belief systems are in decline and the old faiths are being reborn.
Appleyard praises Gray's review. Both Appleyard and Gray, to my mind, are among the most consistently interesting writers and thinkers in my native land - even when I disagree.
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