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FROM THIS EPISODE

Secularism is a defining characteristic of the "Modern" world.  So why is there such an increase in religious belief? With two major religions celebrating holidays, we look at faith in America and other parts of the world. Also, President Obama sees "glimmers of hope" for the economy, and US intelligence agents report that cyberspies have penetrated America's electricity system. Could they disrupt it?

God Is Back

Adrian Wooldridge

Producers:
Sonya Geis
Gary Scott
Christian Bordal

Reporter's Notebook Cyberspies in the Electrical Grid 7 MIN, 30 SEC

Last year, the Center for Strategic and International Studies reported that the US could suffer more damage from cyber attacks than any of the other potential threats against it. Now it turns out that the nation's electrical grid has been compromised. US intelligence agents say cyber-spies have penetrated the grid, leaving behind computer programs that could disrupt the system in case of hostilities. That's according to Siobhan Gorman, intelligence reporter for the Wall Street Journal.

Guests:
Siobhan Gorman, Wall Street Journal (@Gorman_Siobhan)

Making News Obama Reports 'Glimmers of Hope' for the Economy 6 MIN, 1 SEC

After meeting with Treasury Secretary Geithner, Fed Chairman Bernanke and other advisors today, President Obama told reporters there are "glimmers of hope" for the economy. Michael Fletcher is White House reporter for the Washington Post.

Guests:
Michael Fletcher, Washington Post

Main Topic Religion in the 'Modern World' 35 MIN, 9 SEC

Ever since the Enlightenment, deep thinkers have claimed that modernity would drive out religion, probably by the end of the 20th Century. But since the 1970's, that trend has gone into reverse. Newsweek magazine's current cover announces “The Decline and Fall of Christian America,” while a recent book is entitled God Is Back. The contrast illustrates the worldwide tension between secularism in modern political life and the growing prevalence of religious belief. Free-market thinking has some people shopping between denominations. Some traditionalists threatened by the secular world go to extremes. Do religions compete for believers? Which one is likely to win? Why is Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda such a “Modern” phenomenon?  

Guests:
Adrian Wooldridge, Management Editor, Economist magazine
Luis Lugo, Director, Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life
Akbar Ahmed, Chair of Islamic Studies, American University
Mark Juergensmeyer, University of California, Santa Barbara (@juergensmeyer)

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