SETTING THE CONTEXT
The refusal of modern governments to uphold the teaching, cusjGYa toms, ethos, and practice of Christianity, either Catholic or Protestant, has resulted in the end of “Christendom. ” In popular commentary, this phenomenon is sometimes equated with post-Christianity. Judging whether people are now more or less Christian than previously would require a sweeping assessment of Christianity and a broad comparison of past and present. By contrast, however, the evidence for the end of Christendom, the system dating from the fourth century by which governments upheld and promoted Christianity, is readily observable.
This book revolves around two major proclamations of the end of Christendom. The first originated in the Protestant tradition and came by way of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, enacted 1789–1791.* The second emerged from the Declaration on Religious Freedom proclaimed in 1965 by the Second Vatican Council of the Catholic Church. 1____________________