Imagining Secularisation and Modernity: some reflections on Charles Taylor's A Secular Age

Imagining Secularisation and Modernity: some reflections on Charles Taylor's A Secular Age

This event is part of the Sea of Faith - 'In Conversation' series

Start Date:
Wednesday 20th March 2024
Start Time:
7:00PM
Location:
Zoom
Contact:
Marianne Mead
Email:
inconversation@sofn.uk
Speakers:
John Holroyd
Host:
Sea of Faith
Cost:
Free

In his book A Secular Age Charles Taylor paints an unsettling picture of our times. The self, he claims, has been disembedded from community and the attention of individuals has come to focus on personalised goals and material acquisitions. Taylor is clearly persuaded, in part at least, by Nietzsche's view that 'the last of men live just for a pitiable comfort'. In the West we celebrate the hard fought victories that have given rise to individual freedom, and yet, Taylor also wants to suggest, we are simultaneously prey to consumerism and prone to lose our liberties as our desires are nudged around by market forces. By leading us away from the provisions and associations of community our individualistic culture has exposed us to the prospect of being primarily buyers and sellers; cogs in the mechanisms of the market.
In this talk, I will try and clarify the 'problem situation' that Taylor seeks to hold up to us as a mirror of much Western society. I will ask us to consider how accurate Taylor's unsettling images are. I shall also examine what I believe to be the dangers of 'oven ready' religious solutions to the problems he outlines, and make some comments of my own about the interrelated character of spirituality and secularity.

Booking Details

please email inconversation@sofn.uk

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