Matthew Arnold’s most famous verse from “Dover Beach” laments the ebbing of Christian faith in Europe:
The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.
Here’s a snapshot in chart form:
For reference purposes, here’s the timeline of Christian Europe in map form:
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