Tuesday, January 25, 2011

"A Secular Age" in a semester?

I regularly get incredulous looks from people when I tell them I'm leading an undergraduate seminar on Charles Taylor's 874-page tome, A Secular Age. But they haven't met our philosophy majors! Undaunted and excited, next week we'll launch a semester of investigation, trying to get a handle on Taylor's important diagnosis (and archaeology) of our present cultural moment while also considering two "background" questions:

1. How did Taylor's earlier philosophical work in philosophy of action, philosophy of social science, hermeneutics, and phenomenology equip him to undertake the sorts of intellectual histories he offers in Sources of the Self and A Secular Age?

2. Does Taylor's Catholic faith inform his analysis in some significant way, contributing a "sensibility" that made him attuned to certain kinds of questions and concerns?

This blog is meant to be a way to share resources with students (and others who might want to listen in). But I hope it will also become a venue where students make their own contributions to the discussion as we grapple with Taylor throughout the semester.

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