News just out of the CDC has created fresh opportunities for normal, communal time together, indoors — just like we did pre-Corona. One of the rituals I have missed over the past year has been attending synagogue. But long before the Covid-19 pandemic, participation in organized religion – across all walks of religious life – was on the decline. Americans had become less engaged in religious institutions, whether it was regular attendance or membership and donations to their local congregation.

Did the pandemic arrest these trends? Did virtual platforms provide new opportunities for religious and communal engagement?

Joel Kotkin is a professor and bestselling author. He has been described by The New York Times as “America’s uber-geographer.” He has authored numerous books, including The Coming of Neo-Feudalism, and also The Human City: Urbanism for the Rest of Us. He is also a regular contributor to the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal.

Joel recently authored an essay for Quillette that got me thinking more about all of this. It’s titled “God and the Pandemic” and it’s what I wanted to unpack with him today.

Will coronavirus have further isolated Americans from organized religion, or drawn them closer to religion in a durable way?

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  1. colleenb Member

    Thanks for this interview. As a Catholic, I understand the idea that the Church is too tied to the sacraments and/or having services which pretty much have to be attended in person. But. First, the sacraments are the foundation of the Church and if Catholics don’t understand that, they will ‘lose’ the faith anyway. Also, it’s one thing to listen to a great talk by a great preacher on the internet but, in the long run, will that provide the worship and community that will really provide people with substance. I do not think it will. 

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