Do we witness a “re-enchantment of the world?”

It has become fairly common among students and observers of social developments to speak of a “re-surgence of religion”. Reference usually is made to the strong public profile of new religious movements in all religious traditions and their increasing impact on the shaping of public policy. One of the first manifestations of this re-surgence was the Islamic revolution in Iran 1979, but in the course of the 1980s similar developments took place in a variety of contexts from the role of the Christian Churches and Christian movements in bringing to an end the communist rule in Eastern Europe, the subsequent revitalization of the Orthodox Christian tradition in Russia and other formerly communist countries in Eastern Europe, the sometimes violent campaigns in India aiming at establishing a social order based on Hindu values, the strong influence of conservative-evangelical circles in shaping the policy of successive US administrations since the presidency of Ronald Regan, to the crucial role that Orthodox Jewish groups and political parties have begun to play in Israeli politics.

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