Making Taylor’s “A Secular Age,” readable for the layperson. The secular is usually associated with “unbelief,” but Taylor goes to great lengths to illustrate that this paradigm doesn’t make sense in the modern context. Modernity is an explosion of all kinds of different beliefs. In a secular age, what’s believable has changed—structures are no longer axiomatic. All beliefs are contested, but, people by no means stop believing. The “nova effect,” is, “the explosion of different options (‘third ways’) for belief and meaning in a secular age, produced by the concurrent “cross pressures” of our history—as well as the concurrent pressure of immanentization and (at least echoes of) transcendence.”
James K. A. Smith — author of How (Not) to Be Secular: Reading Charles Taylor — is, let’s face it, just a little more hip than one might normally expect an author/professor with a long title (professor of philosophy at Calvin College holding the Gary & Henrietta Byker Chair in Applied Reformed Theology & Worldview) and an even longer list of published works to be.
Don’t believe us? Check out our recent video interview with Smith (featuring Eerdmans Internet marketing assistant/resident theology nerd Jacob Thielman) below, or read on to learn more about Smith’s outstanding new book after the break.
How (Not) to Be Secular is what Jamie Smith calls “your hitchhiker’s guide to the present” — it is both a reading guide to Charles Taylor’s monumental work A Secular Age and philosophical guidance on how we might learn to live in our times.
Taylor’s landmark book A Secular Age (2007) provides…
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