Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age (Harvard University Press 2007) represents a milestone in the intellectual history of modernity. As Peter Gordon argued shortly after it appeared, the book placed Taylor alongside Marx, Durkheim, Weber, Löwith, Blumenberg and Gauchet in "the long tradition of philosophers of history and social theorists to assess both the process and the significance of secularization in the modern West.” Yet arguably the most critical difference between Taylor and his predecessors in this tradition as that Taylor does not subscribe to the inevitability of disenchantment. A Secular Age, then, presents us with an alternative history of modernity and the dynamic of religion and the secular within it.
All are welcome to join this event. We ask participants to read the Introduction and chapter 11 "Nineteenth-Century Trajectories," as well as the review by Peter E. Gordon in the Journal of the History of Ideas 69:4 (2008), 647-673.