A ridiculously optimistic history of the next decade

The second cultural trend of the decade was the rise of the urban church. Suburban megachurch attendance fell, because the pastors had disgraced themselves under Trump. But suddenly there was a surge in church plants in places like Brooklyn, Washington, D.C., Chicago and San Francisco, as highly educated people found homes for their spiritual longings.

The churches were liturgically highly charismatic (Bethel music) and highly universalistic and intellectual (Richard Rohr). Their politics were an odd mix — pro-L.G.B.T.Q., pro-life, active on climate change, pro-animal rights (one of the signature moral causes of the decade). The religious left gained on the religious right.

At the same time, the racial justice conversation went intimate. America is involved in a multigenerational process of truth and reconciliation. In the teens, the truth-telling had generally revolved around historic events — slavery, lynching, redlining. In the 2020s, a series of writers, artists and directors gave us vivid descriptions of the subtleties of contemporary black life.