Charles Taylor: A Secular Age

Public forum to discuss interesting and helpful books.
Post Reply
User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 3264
Joined: 22 Oct 2008, 16:27

Charles Taylor: A Secular Age

Post by hawkgrrrl » 28 Dec 2016, 11:25

I did a VERY brief overview of Charles Taylor's A Secular Age (based on James K.A. Smith's book about it "How (Not) to be a Secular").

So far, this is the best read I've ever done to understand why people are struggling so much with faith in our time. It was fascinating. For another great insight, don't miss Andrew S.'s comment.
The premise behind Charles Taylor’s book is trying to understand how we went from the mindset in which disbelief in God was almost unimaginable to a situation in which the opposite is true; yet the book somehow avoids the tropes of both fundamentalist believers as well as militant atheists. It’s a very thoughtful treatise on how modern life is experienced by believers, skeptics, deists and atheists. A big part of this shift is that the conditions of belief have changed. We have more viable possibilities available to us in terms of belief, and we also have different underlying assumptions than people did a few hundred years ago. Since assumptions are the water we swim in, we are mostly unaware of them.
One of my personal conclusions is that because of the date of the restoration, Mormonism is actually one of the most secular religions out there, combining the worldly with the religious. We are also very focused on human flourishing rather than transcendence because we view God as having a body of flesh and bone. I recommend reading my primer and then deciding if you want to buy either of the books. The Smith one is a much shorter read, but it kind of makes me want to read Taylor himself next. I did read some Taylor directly, having found this free pdf on line:

User avatar
Posts: 323
Joined: 05 Nov 2016, 10:04

Re: Charles Taylor: A Secular Age

Post by Reuben » 28 Dec 2016, 18:02

Thoroughly enjoying it so far. I got to here before feeling I really needed to comment:
This way of living is foreign to us in our day. We can’t comprehend the lived experience in which a single religious worldview was so fully enmeshed in society that there really was no alternative available or even understood for the majority of people.
Having lived in Provo, I think I can relate. :D
My intro

Love before dogma. Truth before loyalty. Knowledge before sanctity or certainty.

User avatar
Posts: 2986
Joined: 02 Apr 2011, 14:11

Re: Charles Taylor: A Secular Age

Post by mom3 » 28 Dec 2016, 19:55

On my kindle. Can't wait.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users