The new situation [of freedom of belief] is the product (so far as one can understand a very complex and obscure process of causation) of the spread of tolerance, of humane and liberal sentiment, in recent centuries; and also of the revolution in intellectual climate which means that countless men and women today think there is nothing ultimately obscure about the world, or (which can be a very different thing) nothing makes the notion of a divine creator or savior either necessary or plausible. This last situation, the confident rationalism or the scientifically based agnosticism which have come to be the dominant faiths among the twentieth century intellectuals, were indeed unthinkable in the twelfth century intellectuals, were indeed unthinkable in the twelfth century at least in any recognizable form.

Professor C.N.L. Brooke, “Heresy and Religious Sentiment: 1100-1250”

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