A few weeks back I posted an article from a book about worldviews.
The book is Transforming Worldviews: An Anthropological Understanding of How People Change by Paul G. Hiebert. As I said in the last article about the book, it started out slow but it picked up. Here is another interesting nugget. During the Enlightenment some of the leading philosophers made a concerted effort to substitute the word "self" for the word "soul." Now, that may not seem like much, but think about it, what are the connotations of the word "soul" compared to "self."
It also isn't a stretch to see how the word switch helped to promote individualization, further push God out of the realm of possibility of impact, and make the focus of one's life (to use the phrase we have inherited from the word switch) self-improvement. I find this to be profound. I realize that I am often alone on this, but I find it fascinating how we as a culture and society can take our current outlook, culture, situation, view of knowledge, idea of morals and see them as permanent; existing in a vacuum even. Then, turn around and apply them to what has happened in the past without blinking an eye.
What would it be like today if the popular view of the human was that it is equally physical and spiritual? What would our world look like if the concept of self-help never dawned?