The media and education loudly proclaim that we are a secular society. Sociologists tend to believe that affluence, universal education, scientific and medical advances mean there is no longer any need to believe in God. They say that secularisation and modernity have gone hand in hand. But how does this claim stand up to scrutiny? Has history been distorted to make secularisation theory more plausible? And has belief persisted in a way which undermines the cherished theory?