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A Secular Age de Charles Taylor
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A Secular Age (2007 original; edició 2018)

de Charles Taylor (Autor)

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1,136813,649 (3.95)7
"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. 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 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." "What this means for the world - including the new forms of collective religious life it encourages, with their tendency to a mass mobilization that breeds violence - is what Charles Taylor grapples with, in a book as timely as it is timeless."--BOOK JACKET.… (més)
Membre:greypilgrim76
Títol:A Secular Age
Autors:Charles Taylor (Autor)
Informació:Belknap Press: An Imprint of Harvard University Press (2018), Edition: Reprint, 896 pages
Col·leccions:TKU Office, Home Study, La teva biblioteca
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Etiquetes:Cap

Informació de l'obra

A Secular Age de Charles Taylor (2007)

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The most important book I've read in years. Impossible to summarize in this tiny window, but Taylor gives an utterly compelling account of how the modern West transformed from a place where 500 years ago it would have been impossible *not* to believe in God to a place where belief and unbelief take a dizzying number of forms. The final fourth of the book offers a spirited defense of belief. ( )
  jalbacutler | Nov 2, 2020 |
Like many sociology or philosophical examinations this is grotesquely and unnecessarily wordy as if to impress fellow academics while simultaneously being fairly shallow analysis. For example, instead of the author devoting five pages in his attempt to describe subjective religious experiences he could have just said, "numinous experiences," and been done with it. Instead he uses abstract terms like "senses of fullness," and included long unnecessary quotes from Gurus no one has ever heard of. Instead of simply saying "present cultural bias" which everyone understands, he goes on at length using the descriptor, "the unacknowledged shape of the background." The pretentiousness is staggering! Then he views depth psychology as exclusively Freudian, dismisses the post-Freudian understanding of the religious function and fails to even mention Jung who has contributed more understanding to human religiosity than probably anyone in any field. Then the author fails to give much appreciation to the environmental movement as a widespread moral religious expression of Earth Goddess worship because of its inherent materialist nature and lack of focus on the sky-deity which he assumes renders it secular. It seems his understanding of religiosity is generally constrained to the Judeo-Christian idea of a transcendent sky-God and thus lacks any comprehensive anthropological understanding of religion as well. This is a heady topic for sure, but it could have easily been done in 500 pages instead of 850 and it would have been far better if he understood social psychology better and the function of the religious psyche. His excessive writing does not clarify his points to readers but confounds and overwhelms them. ( )
  Chickenman | Sep 14, 2018 |
An immense, sweeping, magisterial exploration of Western civilization, primarily over the past 500 years, as a quest to answer the question: how come in 1500 everyone believed in God and took it for granted, but by 2000 unbelief was seen as a valid option?

Taylor identifies all sorts of inter-related trends which have led to the present secular age: disenchantment, the development of the "buffered self" (as opposed to one porous to other people and spiritual forces around oneself; the ability to see oneself as an individual, independent unit, as if from above), the loss of an understanding of one's place in the cosmos replaced by random existence in the void known as the universe, and the constant agitation toward Reform in "Latin Christendom" which has marked most of the last millennium. Taylor then traces these trends over a 500 year period: the Reformation and the critique of "good magic," the rise of neo-Stoicism and the ordering of the elite, leading to a more ordered view of things, getting to the idea of "providential Deism" by the 18th century, God as setting up a system and operating according to these fixed ideas of order, all preparing the ground for the tumults of the 19th and 20th centuries. In these ways a highly communal, enchanted culture has become highly individualistic and secularized.

Such is a gross oversimplification of Taylor's narrative and does not give justice to the account. He does well at showing how the Reformation argumentation against various tenets of Catholicism not only go back to the Reform movement concept but even to the critique of the "Axial" age against the "pre-Axial" age, the shift away from pagan idolatry toward monotheism, and how many aspects of primal, "pagan" spirituality were maintained for quite a long time...and all of this reform paved the way for the same argumentation to be used against Protestant Christianity and the idea of Christianity itself. Neither modernity nor secularity are portrayed as downward spirals into the abyss; for most of the narrative Taylor is content to tell the story without providing judgment, and when he does render his own judgments, they prove nuanced, attempting to find the good, absorb the legitimate critiques, but also show the failings of the present synthesis. He spoke of the resurgence of Christianity in the 18th and 19th centuries as the age of mobilization; he sees many of the same animating trends within it in the drive for reform in culture itself.

His chapters on the state of religion and secularity today are quite insightful, as are the discussions of the dilemmas faced by all the inheritors of the Western tradition. He does well to see three real disputants, traditional religious belief, secular humanism, and a Nietzschean "post-humanism", all at times allying against another, all uneasily seeking the way forward.

He does well at expressing the dangers of moralism as replacing the grace and power found in Christianity as well.

A work to be read, grappled with, and digested. Truly indeed a monumental and epochal work. ( )
2 vota deusvitae | Feb 11, 2018 |
A painful exacting description of the gradual displacement of a religious world with the scientific viewpoint enjoyed today. This is not easy reading, or clear. View it as an extensive conversation with an acquaintance, who is not happy when meeting with the question "What exactly do you mean by that?" His responses are somewhat catty and lead to even more involved responses. While I came to understand what he was getting at, none-the-less there was more exasperation than exhilaration in the discovery. ( )
1 vota DinadansFriend | Nov 8, 2015 |
The Path to Exclusive Humanism
One can see the development of the western societies as a road to progressive secularization, a way that leads to a social organization in with religious beliefs are no more necessary to explain the human life. This narrative, Charles Taylor convincingly argues, is questionable and has alternatives. The development of science and the reinvention of the individual aren't incompatible with the desire of transcendency. Modern societies show the revival of religious beliefs - the author refers the examples of the United States and Latin American countries - and entertain ideas and institutions based in a conception of the human that is not exclusively naturalistic. This is a most read book by whom wants to understand postmodern human society. ( )
1 vota MarcusBastos | Jul 29, 2015 |
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Wikipedia en anglès (2)

"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. 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 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." "What this means for the world - including the new forms of collective religious life it encourages, with their tendency to a mass mobilization that breeds violence - is what Charles Taylor grapples with, in a book as timely as it is timeless."--BOOK JACKET.

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