It was not what was predicted by mainstream sociologists who followed in the footsteps of Karl Marx, Max Weber and Émile Durkheim, but it has happened. Instead of slowly withering away or lodging itself quietly into the privacy of worshipers’ hearts, religion has emerged as an important player on the national and international scenes.
It is too early to tell how permanent this resurgence will be. The process of secularization may continue, though not so much in the older sense of a decline in religious observance as in the newer sense of the diminishing influence of religion in contemporary societies. Yet on the international scene religion is well and alive. A collection of essays titled Religion: The Missing Dimension of Statecraft is obligatory reading for many diplomats. The London School of Economics has organized a major conference on religion in international affairs.