A second barrier to a re-emergence of inherited systems of belief as the answer to humanity’s spiritual yearnings is the effects already mentioned of global integration. Throughout the planet, people raised in a given religious frame of reference find themselves abruptly thrown into close association with others whose beliefs and practices appear at first glance irreconcilably different from their own. The differences can and often do give rise to defensiveness, simmering resentments and open conflict. In many cases, however, the effect is rather to prompt a reconsideration of received doctrine and to encourage efforts at discovering values held in common. The support enjoyed by various interfaith activities doubtless owes a great deal to response of this kind among the general public. Inevitably, with such approaches comes a questioning of religious doctrines that inhibit association and understanding. If people whose beliefs appear to be fundamentally different from one’s own nevertheless live moral lives that deserve admiration, what is it that makes one’s own faith superior to theirs? Alternatively, if all of the great religions share certain basic values in common, do not sectarian attachments run the risk of merely reinforcing unwanted barriers between an individual and his neighbours?