[numbers indicate paras]
- Why tell a story of the changes in conditions of belief from 1500 to 2000? Why not just give an analysis?
- The reason to tell a story is that identity is always shaped by understanding of history. Our understanding of what it means to be secular is tied up with our understanding of how we got here.
- Because identity is tied up with the past, “there is an inescapable… God-reference in the very nature of our secular age” (pg. 29).
- Our past is present in our current identity, and we so we can’t understand ourselves without understanding our past.
- But in view of how big the West is, there is more than one story that could be told. This book will focus on the broadest of narratives of how the West became secular.
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