Sunday, 8 July 2012

A Reading On "What Does It Mean To Say We Live In A Secular Age?"

For something slightly different, I decided to record a reading of the introduction to Charles Taylor's wonderful book, A Secular Age. It is a challenging read, yes, but it soars above the dry, academic voice too often consulted to deliver intellect sans life. I hope you'll be able to enjoy its richness, once you forgive me for any mispronunciations of exotic and foreign words. It's the kind of book you could write hundreds more about, filling in each insight that hums the intuitive notes you long to see transcribed into explicit symphony. 


rolo said...


I'm sorry that was just the sound of my intellect being painfully overwhelmed by God's gift to thinking, The Charles Taylor.
All kidding aside, finally listening to Charles Taylor was a very worthwhile experience. He has a way of describing our modern world in a way that really captures how we experience it. In other words, his insights may surprise us at first, but when we really think about they aptly describe the world we live in. Mark of a great thinker.
Having spurted out all that out, although I do agree with you that Taylor's insights demand elaboration,but I also wonder if his framing of the situation is a tad too cliche. I don't want to expound my reasons in this post, but I'll briefly list them out.
First, I have some trouble with his defining of secularism as a state in which numerous options become available. Instead I would almost describe it as the opposite. Furthermore and related to my first point, I don't think it's quite right to describe secularism as a state like its some sort of logical conclusion to the ideological processes at work in modernity, rather I think its best to describe secularism as a process or transition in and of itself. In other words, secularism is itself the process and not the conclusion of a process.Thanks for uploading and if you mind me asking when can we expect another eloquent,yet distinctly British reading of Charles Taylor?

Martin said...


Glad you enjoyed the experience. Look forward to hearing about your reasons for thinking the account a bit cliche some time in the future, probably on skype.

I'm not sure when but I probably will do another reading, from Sources of the Self in all likelihood. I might make readings generally something that I do more often (which, relative to the fairly low activity of the blog will hardly be that frequent).