Charles Taylor on transcendence: Benjamin, Bloch and beyond

Philosophy and Social Criticism 29 (3):297-314 (2003)
Charles Taylor has recently stated his religious leanings as being at the core of his philosophical vision for a better society. At the heart of this vision is his emphasis on transcendence: that there is something beyond life as we know it. Some years earlier, Taylor had explicitly endorsed the work of Walter Benjamin and Ernst Bloch for the way he wanted to talk about the issue of transcendence; however, neither figures prominently in his recent writings. While there may be differing reasons for this omission, my main concern in this article is to show how the issue of transcendence in Benjamin's and Bloch's writings offers an interesting comparison with Taylor's work on this issue. Moreover, Benjamin and Bloch will be shown to offer ways in which Taylor can more fully express his own undeveloped articulation of transcendence through a consideration of the themes of religion, God, time and death
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