2008 Christianity Today Book Award: Best History book of 2007 and 2007 Templeton Prize
Review Quotes: "Taylor's masterful integration of history, sociology, philosophy, and theology demands much of the reader. In return you will be convinced that Charles Taylor is one of the smartest and deepest social thinkers of our time." -- Tyler Cowen ("Slate" 10/31/2007)
"Taylor's gargantuan philosophical history of modernity, which complicates the flattering and simplified story we like to tell ourselves about secularization, is a major intellectual event." -- Jonathan Derbyshire ("Prospect" 01/01/2008)
"Taylor reminds us that we remain spiritual creatures in our most essential natures, and that what we take for granted--our age's lack of religious faith--is, in fact, an anomaly of history. Our forefathers did not live this way and our grandchildren might not either. Considering the doubts about extreme secularism, it is possible we are entering a new Age of Spirit. If so, Taylor's latest 'magnum opus' serves as a comprehensive guide to the reemergence of religious sensibility." -- Robert Sibley ("Ottawa Citizen" 01/20/2008)
"A singular achievement...Taylor is somehow uniquely able to combine chutzpah and good manners, making bold and imaginative claims, yet always attending respectfully to the whole range of disciplines that touch on the philosophical trajectory being drawn, whether that be history, sociology, theology, art theory, cultural studies, anthropology or social theory..."A Secular Age" succeeds in the same way as his previous work: in illuminating through complicating. At the same time, this book seems to step up the ambition somewhat: by attempting to provide a final definitive account of all the narratives and complications that make up our contemporary age, as they implode on themselves." Christopher J. Insole ("Times Literary Supplement" 02/01/2008)
"Taylor is arguably the most interesting and important philosopher writing in English today... What makes Taylor so important? Over more than 40 years, four large books, four or five slimmer essays and several volumes of articles, he has worked out a distinctive network of arguments and an exceptionally rich analysis of the modern self and its values--an analysis that reveals us to be altogether deeper and more interesting, but also less self-aware, than we tend to suppose..."A Secular Age" sets out to offer a richer characterization of secularization and the nature of contemporary belief, both religious and skeptical...Taylor writes brilliantly about the new social forms--the nation state, the market economy, the charitable enterprise--and the ideals of altruism and public service that have emerged with them..."A Secular Age" is effectively a polemic against dogmatic atheism... It is full of insights, and many of its component parts--notably Taylor's discussion of the "pressures" that make a settled view on the big ontological questions hard to sustain--are as good as anything by this magnificent philosopher." -- (Ben Rogers "Prospect" 02/01/2008)
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