How (Not) to Be Secular: Reading Charles Taylor
What does it mean to say we live in a “secular” world? Charles Taylor’s landmark book A Secular Age provides a monumental history and analysis of what it means for us to live in our post- Christian present — a pluralist world of competing beliefs and growing unbelief. This book by Jamie Smith is a small field guide to Taylor’s genealogy of the secular, making it accessible to a wide array of readers.
Smith’s How (Not) to Be Secular is also, however, a philosophical guidebook for practitioners — a kind of how-to manual that ultimately offers guidance on how to live in a secular age. It’s an adventure in self-understanding and a way to get our bearings in postmodernity. Whether one is proclaiming faith to the secularized or is puzzled that there continue to be people of faith in this day and age, this is a philosophical story meant to help us locate where we are and what’s at stake.