In the final chapter,she pulls together the various strands and sketches out the general themes and gives an analysis of each cultures 'axial age', it's strengths and weaknesses, this indeed was interesting. Particularly that these periods of insight arose out of the suffering and fallout from the collapse or defeat of a political and economic culture, and, interestingly, ended with the arising of another. Her conclusions proceed boldly, and convincingly, into areas of religious universalism. She brings forward her assessment of the aims and beliefs they held in common i.e. the pursuit of wisdom and compassion. This analysis she has stated before in her book on Islam. It feels a little evangelical of her to be repeatedly banging on that drum yet again. Emphasising the commonality, or passively settling for relativism, seems rarely to have helped create harmony between faiths. Is trying to construct a spurious sense of 'brother or sisterhood' between the faiths really what is needed? Religious,political and cultural conflicts have always arisen out of an inability to deal with difference in culture, belief or practice. How we respond and deal with difference,racially, religiously or culturally, is surely the working ground for all of us these days.