The slow ascent of Man to a life of reason is best portrayed by examining the long history of secularization which religion has provoked in every age. It is customary to assume that secular attitudes are a recent development and that religion ruled unchallenged in "the past". This is not so. Dr. Falk's book serves to show that even the most ancient writings now extant indicate that religion always had its opponents and that opposition to religion, at least in Western Civilization, was particularly strong in ancient Greece among the pre-Socratic "lovers of wisdom".
The rise of science and the ascent to reason in Ancient Greece; Greece conquers Rome; reason assails faith - from Epicurus to retellings of the 1990sAvicenna; reason precedes faith - from Abelard to Johann Muller; transition to the Renaissance and the reformation; the age of Copernicus; non-conformist thought in England, France, the Netherlands and Germany; characteristics of the Enlightenment in England and France; understanding mankind; American technology, sociology and secular humanism - the triumph of reason.