In a final section titled "The Dark Night of the Soul," Lasch examines what he considers a spiritual crisis at the heart of Western culture. This crisis is the product of an over-attachment to the secular worldview, he maintains, which has left the knowledge elite with little room for doubt and insecurity. Traditionally, institutional religion provided a home for spiritual uncertainties as well as a source of higher meaning and a repository of practical moral wisdom. The new elites, however, in their embrace of science and secularism, look upon religion with a disdain bordering on hostility. "The culture of criticism is understood to rule out religious commitments," Lasch observes. Today, religion is "something useful for weddings and funerals but otherwise dispensable." Bereft of a higher ethic, the knowledge classes have taken refuge in a culture of cynicism, inoculating themselves with irreverence. "The collapse of religion," he writes, "its replacement by the remorselessly critical sensibility exemplified by psychoanalysis, and the degeneration of the 'analytic attitude' into an all-out assault on ideals of every kind have left our culture in a sorry state."