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A religious liberalism

Eric Kaufmann ignores the radical traditions and potential of religion

By Sean Swan   November 2006

Eric Kaufmann’s biological determinism predicts a world of increasing religiosity and increasing conservatism (Prospect, November 2006). His argument rests on two pillars: first, that religious people have more children than secular people, and second, that increased religiosity will lead to increased conservatism in politics. Self-evidently true? Perhaps not.

For Kaufmann, the higher fertility of religious people will “challenge modernism, that great secular movement of cultural individualism which swept high art and culture after 1880 and percolated down the social scale to liberalise attitudes in the 1960s.” But did the seeds of the 1960s lie in the high art and culture…

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