Fertile Crescent?

A Convergence of Civilizations
The Transformation of Muslim Societies around the World
Youssef Courbage and Emmanuel Todd
Translated by George Holoch
Columbia University Press, $35, 152 pp.

During the years I taught at the University of Ghana, the United Nations sponsored a Regional Institute for Population Studies there, infelicitously known by the acronym RIPS. Occasionally I picked up literature produced by the institute on ethical issues surrounding population control; in the process I learned some demographic jargon, such as the division of cultures into natalist (or pronatalist) and antinatalist, those that encourage childbearing and those that do not. One particularly...

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About the Author

Patrick J. Ryan, SJ, is the Laurence J. McGinley Professor of Religion and Society at Fordham University.