Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age generated a great deal of attention—and has stimulated important debates—among a diverse range of scholars in sociology, history, politics, religious studies and to a lesser extent, anthropologists. Much of the debate has focused on the implications of Taylor’s work for the so-called secularisation thesis and the place (or non-place) of religion in the so-called public sphere. The essays in this volume arise less out of such concerns and more from Taylor’s discussion of secularism in a third, ‘experiential’ sense. Each paper addresses the question of what it is like to ‘believe’ (or not ‘believe’) in the modern world. Among other things the authors of the essays published in this Special Issue are concerned to develop better understandings of the conditions under which belief and unbelief may be experienced as open, rather than closed, to the possibility of other ontological construals, thereby building on Taylor’s insights into the phenomenology of modern secularism
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