The book that has sparked a vigorous national debateabout the state of American religion, praised by Timothy Keller as "provocative" and "compelling," while "The""New York Times" says "Douthat attacks nonsense on both the cultural right and left...responsible and fair," and the "Washington Times" raves "a superb documentation of America's crisis of faith," now in paperback.
Ross Douthat has emerged as one of the most provocative and influential voices of his generation. In "Bad Religion "he offers a masterful and hard-hitting account of how American Christianity has gone off the rails--and why it threatens to take American society with it. America's problem isn't too much religion, as a growing chorus of atheists have argued; nor is it an intolerant secularism, as many on the Christian right believe. Rather, Douthat argues, it's "bad religion: "the protracted breakdown of traditional faith and the rise of a variety of pseudo-Christianities that stroke our egos, indulge our follies, and encourage our worst impulses.
Ranging from Glenn Beck to Barack Obama, "Eat Pray Love "to Joel Osteen, and Oprah Winfrey to "The Da Vinci Code," Douthat explores how the prosperity gospel's mantra of "pray and grow rich," a cult of self-esteem that reduces God to a life coach, and the warring political religions of left and right have crippled the country's ability to confront our most pressing challenges and accelerated American decline.