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How (Not) to Be Secular: Reading Charles Taylor

How (Not) to Be Secular: Reading Charles Taylor

by James K. A. Smith
How (Not) to Be Secular: Reading Charles Taylor

How (Not) to Be Secular: Reading Charles Taylor

by James K. A. Smith


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How (Not) to Be Secular is what Jamie Smith calls "your hitchhiker's guide to the present" — it is both a reading guide to Charles Taylor's monumental work A Secular Age and philosophical guidance on how we might learn to live in our times.

Taylor's landmark book A Secular Age (2007) provides a monumental, incisive analysis of what it means to live in the post-Christian present — a pluralist world of competing beliefs and growing unbelief. Jamie Smith's book is a compact field guide to Taylor's insightful study of the secular, making that very significant but daunting work accessible to a wide array of readers.

Even more, though, Smith's How (Not) to Be Secular is a practical philosophical guidebook, a kind of how-to manual on how to live in our secular age. It ultimately offers us an adventure in self-understanding and maps out a way to get our bearings in today's secular culture, no matter who "we" are — whether believers or skeptics, devout or doubting, self-assured or puzzled and confused. This is a book for any thinking person to chew on.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802867612
Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
Publication date: 05/01/2014
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 357,609
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

James K. A. Smith is professor of philosophy at Calvin College, where he also teaches in the congregational and ministry studies department.

Table of Contents

Preface vii

Introduction: Our Cross-Pressured Present: Inhabiting a Secular Age 1

1 Reforming Belief: The Secular as Modern Accomplishment 26

2 The Religious Path to Exclusive Humanism: From Deism to Atheism 47

3 The Malaise of Immanence: The "Feel" of a Secular Age 60

4 Contesting the Secularization2 Thesis 79

5 How (Not) to Live in a Secular Age 92

Conclusion: Conversions 132

Glossary 140

Name Index 144

Subject Index 147

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