What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close
With rendition switcher

Transcript

Question: What do you make of the global resurgence of religious alliances?

Michael Walzer: Well, first of all it was entirely unexpected, especially by left intellectuals. We all brought into the theory of seculars, secularization. This was a long-term inevitable historical tendency. It was the product of modern science and education and democratic politics and--everything was going to set people free from religious authority and increasingly make religious belief less and less tenable, so we thought. And it’s possible that we may still be right over the very, very long run. Secularization seems to be a fact of life in Europe, except among the Muslim emigrants. Churchgoing is radically down and people who say they believe that those numbers are radically down. The New York Times yesterday published some recent poll data suggesting that though America is far behind Europe and we are caught up in the same process, and the number of people describing them as religiously, describing themselves since religiously unaffiliated has grown quite sharply in the past 10, 15, 20 years. Still, there has clearly been in Islam, in Judaism and among, and in Christianity, the rise of a new kind of orthodox or fundamentalism or zealotry, and in Buddhism also and in Hinduism. And in all of these cases it has been associated with right-wing politics and sometimes with violence against opponents, and that is a political challenge, a totally unexpected political challenge, to left, secular, liberal, politics. And we're all fumbling with how to with how to respond.

 

 

 

Michael Walzer: The Global ...

Newsletter: Share: