Since our midterm was this past week, it is easy to reflect on the first half of the semester. We have stressed many times the complete influence that religion has on so many areas of our lives. Its influence has a lot to with the ever changing atmosphere that it creates. Although it seems that religion has a strong grounds that is much more of the facade it gives off. Religion is complex, difficult to define, and has trouble staying the same. McGuire uses Chapter 8 to tie together all the thoughts that we have been reflecting on all semester. She says that the place religion is at today is very different from where it began but that doesn’t mean it is any less influential today than it used to be. Religion in the modern world looks at understanding the major changes in society that have gotten us to our current state. It takes the time to reflect on how far we have come as a nation. One aspect that McGuire says has a pattern of growth, is secularism in religion. It has become a much bigger deal than it ever was before and has pushed the big denominations away to the side for the first time. Religion has become something much more private, and unique depending on those in society that are a part of it. It is interesting to take a step back and think about how restructured our religion is compared to where it began. We live in a unique world with very distinct characteristics and I love studying religion because it says a lot about what our culture is all about.