The “intellectual” magazine Prospect has put forward its list of the world’s most important thinkers.
Comedian Russell Brand was voted fourth.
No, that was not a misprint.
Fourth most important thinker in.the.world.
Above Indian writer Arundhati Roy, German philosopher Jurgen Habermas and U.S. economist Paul Krugman.
The magazine described Brand as “the spiritual leader of Britain’s disaffected anti-capitalist youth,” adding, “Dismissed by his opponents as a clownish opportunist, he is nevertheless the most charismatic figure on Britain’s populist left.”
Number one on the list?
French economist Thomas Piketty.
Okay, at least that one I get.
But I will give the magazine credit for one thing: Never before has the “habits of the mind” mattered more. As Winston Churchill presciently stated in his address to Harvard University in 1943, “The empires of the future will be empires of the mind.” Oxford theologian Alister McGrath, reflecting on Churchill’s address, notes that Churchill’s point was that a great transition was taking place in Western culture with immense implications for all who live in it. The powers of the new world would not be nation-states, as with empires past, but ideologies. It would now be ideas, not nations, which would captivate and conquer in the future. The starting point for the conquest of the world would now be the human mind.
But will Christians ever be found on any list of important thinkers?