Saturday, November 10, 2007

What's Wrong with Charles Taylor

11/10/2007--We are all going to have to come to grips with secularism in the light of Charles Taylor's monumental work, A Secular Age. My next few posts will attempt to do that. Let me say at the outset, however, what the fundamental problem is. Taylor's work lacks the category of truth. Or rather, we have to go through 768 pages to get to the real point, four pages before the book ends: "In our religious lives we are responding to a transcendent reality." Then he adds, really insult to injury in light of all that has gone before..."We all have some sense of this..."

Taylor does not even dare to call this truth. He calls it one of two alternative futures of secularism.

Coming to this truth, for that is what it is whatever Taylor calls it, at the end of the book renders the book either pointless, or merely a history of secularism we ought to know before beginning the real work of encountering transcendence within a genuinely secular frame. That would make the book worthwhile, but not that important.

Hallowed Secularism begins where Taylor, unfortunately, ends--the very point at which we must now live.

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