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Tom Wolfe expects religious awakening

By Editorial Staff
Published March 31, 2008

Novelist Tom Wolfe, author of the best-seller The Bonfire of the Vanities, says he is expecting a spiritual revival in the 1990s. In a recent interview with a Time magazine bureau chief, the author predicted that the next decade will be a time of “relearning moral values” for college students. “I think there will be a lot of discussion in the ’90s about morality. It has already begun. I pick it up in talking to college students.”

Wolfe explained that college students are voluntarily “putting the brakes on the sexual revolution.” In a speech at Harvard University, Wolfe said he was concerned about the emphasis on freedom from religion and ethical standards because of excesses.

Wolfe, viewed by many as a chronicler of American society, defined the ’60s as “the whole crazed, obscene, uproarious, Mammon-faced, drug-soaked, Mau Mau, lust-oozing” decade and the ’70s as “sexed-up, doped-up, and hedonistic.” He has dubbed the 1980s as “the decade of money fever … (which is) not likely to produce heroic figures.”

However, Wolfe says the close of the 1980s gives a clue to what lies in the 1990s. He explained that he sees the signs of awakening in the rising interest in Christianity as well as other religions, especially with the “sweeping aside of standards.” When asked if he saw an erosion of standards, he replied, “Erosion, no. It’s been much faster than erosion. There’s been a sweeping aside of standards. Every kind of standard.”

Wolfe is only one of several prominent public figures who have recently predicted a major spiritual revival in America in the next decade.


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