I am deliriously tired right now...but I just wanted to prep this topic before I went to sleep.
I read the afterword and it hit upon a few of the things Mad, Ken, yellow and myself have been discussing. I opened me up to some of what Mad and Ken are saying, but solidified what I am thinking too.
I don't see Ms. Armstrong as pushing an agenda, just trying to explain things as she perceives them...offering a thesis of the old and the new, the three faiths and where this has all brought us. Whether or not she nails every aspect of this is not really important to me, ie - her historical time-lines or organizational choice, but it is her message. That religion and belief has been changed by 'modernity' and that IT needs to change to keep up and stay relevant and not the other way around.
The world did indeed change around the time of the discovery of the American continent (well the REALIZATION that it existed to Europe). We cannot deny how much that one event changed the course of history at that point.