Magazine August 24, 2020, Issue

The Gods We Worship in a Secular Age

(BrianAJackson/Getty Images)
Strange Rites: New Religions for a Godless World, by Tara Isabella Burton (PublicAffairs, 320 pp., $28)

Without Johannes Gutenberg, Protestantism might never have gotten off the ground. And without Tim Berners-Lee and other Internet pioneers, the rising tide of religiously unaffiliated young adults would doubtless look very different.

Strange Rites, by Religion News Service columnist Tara Isabella Burton, offers a series of Instagram-filtered snapshots of what the search for meaning looks like in the age of curated consumption. It also provides an irresistible frame for understanding the quest for community in the age of YouTube influencers and fan-fiction forums.

Burton, who holds a doctorate from Oxford University and is a contributing editor of The American Interest, suggests that

This article appears as “That Old-Time Religion” in the August 24, 2020, print edition of National Review.

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Patrick T. Brown is a congressional staffer. His views are his own and not those of any Member of Congress or committee.

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In memory of the late Herman Cain, please join us in saying nine Hail Marys, nine Our Fathers, and nine Glory Bes.

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