A Secular Age
ISBN: 0674986911
EAN13: 9780674986916
Language: English
Release Date: Sep 17, 2018
Pages: 896
Dimensions: 1.771654" H x 9.212598" L x 6.456693" W
Weight: 2.753574 lbs.
Format: Paperback
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Book Overview

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What does it mean to say that we live in a secular age? Almost everyone would agree that we--in the West, at least--largely do. And clearly the place of religion in our societies has changed profoundly in the last few centuries. In what will be a defining book for our time, Charles Taylor takes up the question of what these changes mean--of what, precisely, happens when a society in which it is virtually impossible not to believe in God becomes one in which faith, even for the staunchest believer, is only one human possibility among others.

Taylor, long one of our most insightful thinkers on such questions, offers a historical perspective. He examines the development in Western Christendom of those aspects of modernity which we call secular. What he describes is in fact not a single, continuous transformation, but a series of new departures, in which earlier forms of religious life have been dissolved or destabilized and new ones have been created. As we see here, today's secular world is characterized not by an absence of religion--although in some societies religious belief and practice have markedly declined--but rather by the continuing multiplication of new options, religious, spiritual, and anti-religious, which individuals and groups seize on in order to make sense of their lives and Read More chevron_right

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Book Reviews (5)

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   I can hear the author's voice in A Secular Age
After reading a review indicating that Charles Taylor's book originated in a series of papers, it was easy to hear his voice in the writing. This book is carefully researched and footnoted and is so carefully paced that Taylor follows all his chains of thought in constructing his arguments. It would be easy to get impatient with detail, but take your time, follow the links, look some of the references and fill a splendid description of our secular age, as it transformed life from enchanted to secular. I began reading a library copy of this book and after not too many pages graduated to my own copy on my Kindle. As one who has often wondered how we lost the enchanted world and became secular, I am so glad that Taylor also researched, lectured and wrote about it.
   Difficult read but packed with ideas !
I do not understand why every seminary and religious in America has not read this book. Warning : It is dense, but well worth the effort. As we move into the Secular Age, here is a book that tells you how we got there, as well as how to deal with it.
   The audio is superb... get it too.
The audio is delightfully read... good rhythms and pace... a lot to hear and reflect on, but still helpful in allowing thoughts to marinate. It thoroughly enjoyed. Thoughts are the course with the print if you are only going to engage Taylor's _ secular age '' once. If it's an ongoing interaction by all means, get this delightful audio edition... pause, reflect and repeat. Go slowly and it will pay huge dividends as a tool for processing the various lines and themes in Taylor's work.
   Breath-taking Sweep
Many said : I was brave for tackling such a book ''. The experience, however, has been worth it. Amazingly, Taylor's ability to command such a wide array of content is wide. Plus, he provides a provocative explanation of how we have become secular and what it may or may not mean. If you're on the fence about reading it, but have the academic chops to handle most of what is out there, then do not shy away from this tome.
   Don't let the name put you off.
A great companion book is How to be Secular Reading James K. A. Smith, by Charles Taylor. It can help you weed out the parts of the book that may be worth skimming depending on your interest.