There is a significant case to be made that women are central to the secularization of the West since the midtwentieth century. This case has started to be argued in a variety of ways. A number of scholars have linked secularization to women via change to the family. In 1992, French sociologist Danièle Hervieu-Léger theorized secularization not as the collapse of religions but as modernity’s transformation of conventional forms of religion (especially Judaism and Christianity) into ‘the religious’ – a state of sacredness devoid of shared liturgy, even of belief in God, but characterized by belonging to new types of secular institution (notably she cited football clubs), and instigated by the collapse of the nuclear family (what she called ‘the traditional family’). In this process, she suggested, what modernity had done was to sustain a ‘chain of memory’ of religious ritual, but not of religious beliefs. At the heart of Hervieu-Léger’s narrative of causation of the ‘religious crisis’ that was ending belief, she identified the collapse of the traditional family through the coming of ultra-low fertility in the 1960s and 1970s. She wrote that the ‘collapse of the traditional family’ was ‘the central factor in the disintegration of the imagined continuity that lies at the heart of the modern crisis of religion’, pinpointing the period ‘around 1965 with the downturn in the statistics of births and marriages which had risen markedly in the period 1945-50’. With falling fertility and marriage, and rising divorce, cohabitation and births outwith marriage, ‘[i]ndividual well-being and fulfilment take precedence.’ Although the British religious sociologist Grace Davie used Hervieu-Léger’s concept in support of her thesis of Christianity’s survival through believing without belonging, the French sociologist was explicitly not sanguine about the fate of the Churches: ‘The rise of the religious does not necessarily give rise to religion.’ Hervieu-Léger regards the change in the family resulting from the 1960s as putting organized religion in a parlous state in western Europe, whilst Davie sees the secular family as relying vicariously by 2000 on religion for the enactment of a Christian or Jewish liturgy on behalf of the secular.