Finishing Secular Age

Well i just finished reading Ch. Taylor’s A Secular Age and am convinced it would have all fit in 500 pages (ah, the days when i will be prof. emeritus and can write whatever i wish at whatever length and get grad students to read it nevertheless…!). That being said, the book is one well crafted and convincing argument. I believe it is about the same arguement as MacIntyre (in Three Rival Versions of Moral Inquiry) and Hillary Putnam (in “The Truth/Value dichotomy”), namely that science-backed Secularism is on the same moral and epistemological playing field as (thoughtful) religion. The strategies these authors adopt are also similar: show that science/secularism are also founded upon a number or moral elements. The arguements have always convinced me, though Taylor, i think, offers the definitive one.

This leads me to my last point. I think you can view ASA as more of an argument as to why christianity has disapeared as an argument as to why secularism has appeared. Of course, this is the opposite of what Ch. Taylor says he’s doing. But when at the end he comes out as a catholic christian, it becomes clear why he didn’t include any of the other western religions (esp. Judaism): they don’t interest him. I don’t think this in anyway affects the content of his argument (which is mostly confined to part I), but it does make for an interesting new reading browsing through of it.

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One Comment to “Finishing Secular Age”

  1. Interesting take on Taylor’s book.

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