The Metamorphoses of God

From fundamentalism to new spiritualities


European Prize for French-Language Writers 2004


It was long believed that the advance in modernity came at the cost of a retreat of religion and a disenchantment with the world. Many phenomena come to question this movement and allow to speak of a "return of God". Frédéric Lenoir rejects the image of a modernity and a religious sensibility which are independent of each other. It shows that we are in fact experiencing an individualization and a globalization of religion which is reflected in a “re-enchantment” of the world and in a “spiritual nomadism” to which a profusion of diverse spiritualities testifies. At the same time, we are witnessing an identity awakening within the great traditions and a return of certainties in various forms: fundamentalism, fundamentalism, sectarianism. It is these astonishing paradoxes of the contemporary religious scene that the author explains here, by endeavoring to understand their historical roots since the Renaissance.





What the press says

“In the Metamorphoses of God, Frédéric Lenoir puts order in what seems an ambient disorder and recapitulates, in a limpid language which is not given to all sociologists, his long years of research; he unravels the skein of religion at the dawn of the 21st century and in particular of the new Western religiosity. In a concern for pedagogy and intellectual relevance, it crosses the eyes of the sociologist, the philosopher, the anthropologist, the historian, even the theologian. An interdisciplinarity that makes this book of four hundred pages a delight to read”. The world of religions

“This book traces in watermark of its demonstration a history of Western spirituality. Scholarly, it is written in a very pleasant to read style… We will once again admire Frédéric Lenoir for his courage and his talent in presenting his ideas. » Acropolis

“The result of field surveys and scholarly research, this book seeks to contrast with the circumstantial observations by restoring over the long term this movement of recomposition, this observation of return…an invitation throughout its pages not to be mistaken about debates. » The Cross

“An eventful book…” Le Nouvel Observateur