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Beginning with ancient Christianity, the author illustrates how both secularization and sacralization take place in history and how it corresponds to our own age. Taking the reader from late ancient and early medieval Christianity, to the full bloom of medieval scholasticism and scholarship, to the dawn of the Renaissance and the aggressively anti-religious time of the "Enlightenment", Olsen considers all aspects of every age. The final section is a discussion of the Church in our own time, confronting such problems as modernization and the relation of the Church to culture. Appendices expand on The Catechism of the Catholic Church's teaching on the relation between prayer and history.