To read is to fly: It is to soar to a point of vantage which gives a view over wide terrains of history, human variety, ideas, shared experience, and the fruits of many inquiries.
— A.C. Grayling, philosopher and author
Attitudes towards psychical research have changed considerably with the passage of time, as these books demonstrate. In terms of policy, to take just one aspect, there has been a pronounced growth of secularism with diminished belief in an afterlife, perhaps reflected in the growth of cremation as an alternative to former funeral practices. Is this, scholars ask, significant for political attitudes? One argument is that diminished belief in conventional religious beliefs results in more emphasis on social action as the present life is seen as unique, without any prospect of future recompense.