A Secular Age by Charles Taylor

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Synopsis

The place of religion in society has changed profoundly in the last few centuries, particularly in the West. In what will be a defining book for our time, Taylor takes up the question of what these changes mean, and what, precisely, happens when a society becomes one in which faith is only one human possibility among others.
 

About Charles Taylor

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Charles Taylor is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at McGill University.
 
Published June 30, 2009 by Harvard University Press. 896 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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What Taylor is after in asking that question is the conditions for belief: Today, one’s “construal shows up as such”—that is, 600 years ago, people wouldn’t have reflected much on or even noticed the fact that they believed in God, but now everyone’s beliefs and non-beliefs are chosen, and they a...

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The New York Times

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Taylor, in contrast, sees science as reinforcing religion, since God is implicated in a social existence where the contemplation of meaning and order suggests “something divine in us.” For Taylor, belief is not what science finds but what religion hopes for.

Dec 16 2007 | Read Full Review of A Secular Age

The New York Times

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Charles Taylor would prefer that we feast upon the 874 pages of his new book “A Secular Age,” which offers musings and perceptions from every field of knowledge except knowledge of God, which he leaves off the menu.

Dec 16 2007 | Read Full Review of A Secular Age

The Guardian

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A Secular Age by Charles Taylor 874pp, Harvard, £25.95 In March this year, Charles Taylor joined Mother Teresa, Billy Graham and Aleksander Solzhenitsyn as a winner of the Templeton prize for progress toward research or discoveries about spiritual realities.

Dec 08 2007 | Read Full Review of A Secular Age

Publishers Weekly

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In his characteristically erudite yet engaging fashion, Taylor, winner of the 2007 Templeton Prize, takes up where he left off in his magnificent Sources of the Self (1989) as he brilliantly traces the emergence of secularity and the processes of secularization in the modern age.

Jun 11 2007 | Read Full Review of A Secular Age

Project MUSE

Although other essayists attempt to make rough-and-ready distinctions between an observant practice of Jewish law (Halakah) and divergences from it (Eric Selinger depicts secular Jews as those “who recite the Shema [the profession of faith in one God] less frequently and reverently than they tell...

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Project MUSE

The third and deeper meaning of secularity involves what Taylor terms the "conditions of belief."

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Spectator Book Club

Thus matters of historical change are sometimes judged from only a single perspective — one conducive to the identification of subsequent ‘secularisation’ — when in reality other features of the same historical phenomena could furnish evidence for other conclusions.

Oct 13 2007 | Read Full Review of A Secular Age

The Cresset

Thus, while Gregory contends that modern religious tolerance represents a fundamental betrayal of Jesus’ uncompromising moral message (of which the Christian civilization of the Middle Ages is purportedly the logical outcome), Taylor suggests that modernity has made clear the “radical uncondit...

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https://www.commonwealmagazine.org

and (4) a new conception of one’s sexuality as an essential part of one’s identity, which not only gave an additional meaning to sexual liberation, but also became the basis for gay liberation and the emancipation of a whole host of previously condemned forms of sexual life.

Sep 24 2007 | Read Full Review of A Secular Age

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