Faith & Prosperity Nexus Blog
Religious composition in Africa has seen major changes over the past 150 or so years. The Pew-Templeton survey of 19 sub-Saharan African nations provides an in-depth portrait of the continent’s religious trajectory. “There is no God-forsaking taking place in Africa,” says Luis Lugo, the Pew Forum’s director, who notes that Africa is, by far, the most religious continent. Roughly 75 percent of respondents said that religion is “very important” in their lives. Even the least religiously observant African nation, Botswana, reports a higher degree of religious engagement than the most religious industrialized country, the United States. But how do sub-Saharan Africans themselves view the role of religion in their lives and societies? To address this question, the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life, with generous funding from The Pew Charitable Trusts and the John Templeton Foundation, conducted a major public opinion survey involving more than 25,000 face-to-face interviews in more than 60 languages or dialects in 19 countries, representing 75% of the total population of sub-Saharan Africa.
Interesting book published by two journalists from the Economist: God Is Back by John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge A reviewer wrote a piece in the London Times about how the Simpsons character Ned Flanders has beaten philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, in the struggle to define modernity. “True, he has an absurd smile – and he smiles a lot. But then he has a lot to smile about. There is his conviction that his soul has been saved. There is Homer. And there is the fact that the world is headed in his direction, not Nietzsche’s. Somewhere in Hell, or whatever purgatory is reserved for European thinkers, a moustachioed German is looking up at The Simpsons, hitting his head and saying: “D’oh!” The Washington Post had a more traditional review: Conventional analysis of contemporary faith divides the world into two camps of political engagement: liberal secularists, who reject any role for religion in public life, and conservative believers, who strive for a Christian or Muslim state. As a result, discussions on religion and politics degenerate into arguments over excising religion from or adding more religion to public life. Readers who subscribe to this dualistic view will be surprised by “God Is Back.”… Read more
The World Bank declared Georgia the top performing country in the early two thousand’s and jumped from 137 to 18 on the ease of doing business scale, ahead of Germany and France. How did that happen? The country was led at the time by Kakha Bendukidze, a scientist/philosopher/entrepreneur who became famous for saying that Georgia should sell anything but it’s honor. The European Stability Institute published on its website an interesting research report about this time in Georgia. “This report looks at the promises of the Rose revolution, the way Georgia presented itself as a model for other countries, and the implications of its elites embracing libertarianism as a national ideology. The shaping of Georgia’s current reform agenda risks deepening the divide between Georgia and the rest of Europe, leaving the country more isolated and vulnerable. It is time to take a closer look at the origins, the impact and the likely consequences of Georgia’s ongoing libertarian revolution.” Bendukidze’s company is called OMZ Group More information on Georgia can be found on the World Fact Book