[book cover]Profile Books recently published Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?, an analysis of the demographic contradictions of modern capitalist societies, by Eric Kaufmann, a British sociologist and political scientist. Its general argument is familiar to those who have read the work of Norris and Inglehart: religious populations have higher birthrates, which offset secularizing tendencies. The paradigm case is Israel, where the once small minority of Haredi Jews has grown to constitute a third of the school-age population. The reviewer in The Literary Review calls the book “probably the most depressing that I have ever read,” and hopes Kaufmann will have to revise his argument, as other practitioners of futurology have. The Independent‘s reviewer finds that the book offers much to think about, although it is “full of contradictions and over-generalisations,” and its analysis, particularly with regard to Islam, leaves much to be wished for. The New Humanist interviews the author, who justifies his—at times, strongly worded—conclusions, saying, “I am trying to force a certain rethink of the idea that we are moving naturally toward secularism. To shake up our complacency and, perhaps, stir up some debate.” That he has. The book prompted reviews in The Times, The Financial Times, The Globe and Mail, and SciLogs. In the Norwegian daily Bergens Tidende, Kenan Malik contextualizes Kaufmann’s analysis (English translation here), suggesting that it resonates because it fits in well with recent panics on both sides of the Atlantic about a Muslim takeover of Europe.