In chapters 10 and 11 in the novel The Age of Empire Hobsbawm explores the theories of science and reason. During the decades leading up to the World War I a transformation in the sciences started to occur. Although transforming, not everyone saw or could understand the direction science was heading. Only a few countries saw the tranformation of science and within those countries only a few citizens could comprehend the changes. The transformation also changed the intellectual view in which the world was previously seen. Up until this point the world was seen in terms of a building which eventually would be completed and all knowledge would be known about. During this time knowledge was now seen as continually changing and evolving, meaning no one person could comprhend everything science had to offer. With the rise of intellectualism and reason emotion no longer had a role in society, as well as the supernatural. The masses at this time were becoming more widely educated. In countries such as Great Britain the number of teachers increased by thirteen times the previous amount. In Europe traditional religion started to have a diminshing role while in nonwhite countries religion was still a large part in communicating about science and politics. In large urban areas church attendence decreased while in politics there were fights against the church. In a time where science and reason were on the rise the church rejected reason and progress and therefore lost members. Through the rise of reason and intuition came the science of sociology. Sociology attempted to understand a society in ways that economics and politics could not.
What I find interesting about the growth of science is how the church was impacted. When science started to play a larger role in society the role of the church, at least in western societies, started to diminish. Although I can understand how reason and the church may be seen as opposites, because church is based on faith not facts, I dont see how so many people turned their back on the church. Although this transformation took place over decades the decrease in church importance seems to be a little out there. Although maybe not explained in the book when did church once again gain importance? Because we live in a world today where reason and science are pretty prevolent, yet church is still important. When did the change come back around?