How the West Really Lost God: A New Theory of Secularization, by Mary Eberstadt (Templeton, 268 pp., $24.95)
For decades, the United States has largely dodged the secular tide that has engulfed Europe. Indeed, for much of the last half-century, religion has continued to play a notable role in the public and private life of this nation, even as the public power of Christianity in Europe, not to mention the private piety of its citizens, retreated in the face of this tide.
No more. The secular tide has crossed the Atlantic in full force. Religious attendance, religious affiliation, and religious arguments in public life are fast losing ground in the U.S., especially among younger Americans. The dramatic rise in the number of religious “nones” among young adults is but one sign of the secular times. According to the Pew Forum, a record 32 percent of today’s young adults (aged 18–29) report no affiliation.