The death of God began, according to Vahanian, the moment Western man started to compromise with the Biblical concept of God transcendent, and to merge the identity of the Godhead with the identity of humankind. From this compromise evolved the belief in the possibility of heaven on earth, in human perfectibility, in the expectation that man, both individually and collectively, can control his termporal fate. Today, as a consequence, Western society not only exalts all possible material comforts, but requires as well easy, guaranteed, status-assuring religious affiliations. The present search for "inner security" is in direct opposition to the toleration of doubt that tests the strength of genuine religious faith. And Vahanian shows how our spiritual decline is reflected in much of the most important imaginative writing of today.