Why Do We Need Religion?

Greg Forster | February 24, 2016


I may never have had a more frustrating assignment than reviewing Miroslav Volf’s Flourishing: Why We Need Religion in a Globalized World. This book provides deep theological insights on a topic where insight is urgently needed. But Volf, professor of religion at Yale University, adopts a method that forces him to leave the big question at the center of the book underdeveloped. And although Flourishing shows he has made some progress on this front—which I want to celebrate—he has not yet fully overcome his tendency to condemn all political and economic systems indiscriminately.

Make no mistake: everyone who cares about either the church or the world should read this book, and those who care about both—as we all should—will get the most out of it. As Volf puts it:

I consider God’s relation to human beings and human beings’ relation to God to be the condition of possibility for human life and flourishing in all dimensions. (9)

The judgment expressed in that sentence is the only possible starting point either for figuring out how to build a faithful life of daily discipleship or for addressing our political, economic, familial, and social problems with any serious hope of success.

Religion and globalization…


To read the rest of this article, visit https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/book-reviews-miroslav-volf-flourishing.