Last modified on 29 April 2017, at 16:24

Eric Kaufmann

Eric Kaufmann, a professor at Birkbeck College, University of London, using a wealth of demographic studies, argues that there will be a significant decline of global atheism in the 21st century which will impact the Western World.[1][2][3][4]

Eric Kaufmann is a professor of politics at Birkbeck College, University of London and author. His academic research specialty is how demographic changes affect religion/irreligion and politics. He was a Fellow in the Religion in International Affairs Program, Belfer Center, Kennedy School, Harvard University, 2008-9. In 2008, he won the Richard Rose Prize of the Political Studies Association for a scholar under 40 years old.[5]

He is also an editor of the journal Nations & Nationalism. He has written on religion and demography for Newsweek International, Foreign Policy and Prospect magazines.[6]

Kaufmann is an agnostic and he is originally from Canada.

Academic work and other work

Economic and Social Research Council project

Eric Kaufmann is currently leading an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) project, Diversity and the White Working Class in England, with Dr. Gareth Harris (who is also of Birkbeck, University of London’s Politics department). The project involves a partnership with the think tank Demos, and its Politics of Demography project. The project uses quantitative data and focus groups to examine how the white British ethnic majority is responding to increasing ethnic diversity due to immigration.[7]

Kaufmann on the rise of religious conservatives in the West and in the world

Kaufmann maintains that: the religious will grow as a percentage of the world's population in the 21st century; the more religious people are, the more children they have; those who are most fervent in their religion - namely fundamentalists - have the largest families; most people inherit their faith from their parents, who often inoculate their children against the arguments of secularists; the cumulative effect of immigration from religious countries, and religious fertility will be to reverse the secularisation process in the Western World (sometime between 2021 and 2050), religious conservatism will triumph over liberal secularism in the 21st century.[8][9][10][11][12]

At a conference Kaufmann said of religious demographic projections concerning the 21st century:

Part of the reason I think demography is very important, at least if we are going to speak about the future, is that it is the most predictable of the social sciences.

...if you look at a population and its age structure now. You can tell a lot about the future. ...So by looking at the relative age structure of different populations you can already say a lot about the future...

...Religious fundamentalism is going to be on the increase in the future and not just out there in the developing world..., but in the developed world as well.[13]

Kaufmann told a secular audience in Australia: "The trends that are happening worldwide inevitably in an age of globalization are going to affect us."[14]

Kaufmann and other scholars have noted that religious immigrants and their offspring are often very resistant to secularization and there is some social science research indicating that the children of immigrants tend to become more religious than their parents.[15][16][17] In 2010, Kaufmann reported that the rate of secularisation flattened to zero in most of Protestant Europe and France.[18]

Kaufmann on the culture war in America

In 2010, in his book Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth, Kaufmann wrote concerning the culture war in the United States:

High evangelical fertility rates more than compensated for losses to liberal Protestant sects during the twentieth century. In recent decades, white secularism has surged, but Latino and Asian religious immigration has taken up the slack, keeping secularism at bay. Across denominations, the fertility advantage of religious fundamentalists of all colours is significant and growing. After 2020, their demographic weight will begin to tip the balance in the culture wars towards the conservative side, ramping up pressure on hot-button issues such as abortion. By the end of the century, three quarters of America may be pro-life. Their activism will leap over the borders of the 'Redeemer Nation' to evangelize the world. Already, the rise of the World Congress of Families has launched a global religious right, its arms stretching across the bloody lines of the War on Terror to embrace the entire Abrahamic family.[19]

Kaufmann on the future of evangelical Protestantism in Europe

See also: Secular Europe

Concerning the future of evangelical Protestantism in Europe, in a paper entitled Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?: Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century, Kaufmann wrote:

What of European Christianity? The conventional wisdom holds it to be in free fall, especially in Western Europe. (Bruce 2002) This is undoubtedly correct for Catholic Europe, while Protestant Europe already has low levels of religious practice. Yet closer scrutiny reveals an increasingly lively and demographically growing Christian remnant. Several studies have examined the connection between religiosity - whether defined as attendance, belief or affiliation - and fertility in Europe. Most find a statistically significant effect even when controlling for age, education, income, marital status and other factors...

Moving to the wider spectrum of European Christianity, we find that fertility is indeed much higher among European women who are religious...

Today, most of those who remain religious in Europe wear their beliefs lightly, but conservative Christianity is hardly a spent force. Data on conservative Christians is difficult to come by since many new churches keep few official records. Reports from the World Christian Database, which meticulously tracks reports from church bodies, indicates that 4.1 percent of Europeans (including Russians) were evangelical Christians in 2005. This figure rises to 4.9 percent in northern, western and southern Europe. Most religious conservatives are charismatics, working within mainstream denominations like Catholicism or Lutheranism to ‘renew’ the faith along more conservative lines. There is also an important minority of Pentecostals, who account for .5% of Europe’s population. Together, charismatics and Pentecostals account for close to 5 % of Europe’s population. The proportion of conservative Christians has been rising, however: some estimate that the trajectory of conservative Christian growth has outpaced that of Islam in Europe. (Jenkins 2007: 75).

In many European countries, the proportion of conservative Christians is close to the number who are recorded as attending church weekly. This would suggest an increasingly devout Christian remnant is emerging in western Europe which is more resistant to secularization. This shows up in France, Britain and Scandinavia (less Finland), the most secular countries where we have 1981, 1990 and 2000 EVS and 2004 ESS data on religiosity...

Currently there are more evangelical Christians than Muslims in Europe. (Jenkins 2007: 75) In Eastern Europe, as outside the western world, Pentecostalism is a sociological and not a demographic phenomenon. In Western Europe, by contrast, demography is central to evangelicalism’s growth, especially in urban areas. Alas, immigration brings two foreign imports, Islam and Christianity, to secular Europe.[20]

Eric Kaufmann on the decline of secularism globally

See also: Global atheism

On December 23, 2012, Professor Eric Kaufmann who teaches at Birbeck College, University of London wrote:

I argue that 97% of the world's population growth is taking place in the developing world, where 95% of people are religious.

On the other hand, the secular West and East Asia has very low fertility and a rapidly aging population. The demographic disparity between the religious, growing global South and the aging, secular global North will peak around 2050. In the coming decades, the developed world's demand for workers to pay its pensions and work in its service sector will soar alongside the booming supply of young people in the third world. Ergo, we can expect significant immigration to the secular West which will import religious revival on the back of ethnic change. In addition, those with religious beliefs tend to have higher birth rates than the secular population, with fundamentalists having far larger families. The epicentre of these trends will be in immigration gateway cities like New York (a third white), Amsterdam (half Dutch), Los Angeles (28% white), and London, 45% white British. [21]

Eric Kaufmann on the reversal of secularism in Europe

See also: Secular Europe

Concerning the future of secularism in Europe, in a paper entitled Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?: Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century, Kaufmann wrote:

We have performed these unprecedented analyses on several cases. Austria offers us a window into what the future holds. Its census question on religious affiliation permits us to perform cohort component projections, which show the secular population plateauing by 2050, or as early as 2021 if secularism fails to attract lapsed Christians and new Muslim immigrants at the same rate as it has in the past. (Goujon, Skirbekk et al. 2006).

This task will arguably become far more difficult as the supply of nominal Christians dries up while more secularisation-resistant Muslims and committed rump Christians comprise an increasing share of the population.[22]

Books

  • Co-editor, with Jack Goldstone and Monica Toft, of Political Demography: How Population Changes are Reshaping International Security and National Politics (Oxford University Press, 2012).
  • The Orange Order: A Contemporary Northern Irish History (Oxford University Press, June 1, 2009)
  • The Rise and Fall of Anglo-America: the Decline of Dominant Ethnicity in the United States (Harvard University Press, 2004)

See also

External links

Articles:

Videos:

Notes

  1. Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?: Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century by Eric Kaufmann, Belfer Center, Harvard University/Birkbeck College, University of London
  2. Eric Kaufmann: Shall The Religious Inherit The Earth?
  3. Eric Kaufmann's Atheist Demographic series
  4. Eric Kaufmann: Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?, Australian Broadcasting Corporation
  5. Eric Kaufmann - bio at Huffington Post
  6. Eric Kaufmann - Social Trends Institute
  7. Eric Kaufmann's website
  8. Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?: Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century - Amazon
  9. Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?: Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century by Eric Kaufmann
  10. Eric Kaufmann: Shall The Religious Inherit The Earth?
  11. Eric Kaufmann's Atheist Demographic series
  12. Eric Kaufmann: Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?, Australian Broadcasting Corporation
  13. Eric Kaufmann - Religion, Demography and Politics in the 21st Century
  14. Shall the religious inherit the earth
  15. The End of Secularization in Europe?:A Socio-Demographic Perspective, Academic journal: Sociology of Religion (2011) doi: 10.1093/socrel/srr033. The authors of the paper were: Eric Kaufmann - Birkbeck College, University of London; Anne Goujon - World Population Program, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA); Vegard Skirbekk, World Population Program, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
  16. Religious immigrants will alter the religious landscape of Europe
  17. Eric Kaufmann - Religion, Demography and Politics in the 21st Century
  18. Shall the religious inherit the earth
  19. Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth by Eric Kaufmann
  20. Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?: Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century by Eric Kaufmann
  21. 97% of the world's population growth is taking place in the developing world, where 95% of people are religious, Tuesday, April 30, 2013
  22. Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?: Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century by Eric Kaufmann