Naturalizing Christian ethics: A critique of Charles Taylor's a secular age [Book Review]

Journal of Religious Ethics 40 (1):149-170 (2012)
This essay critically engages the concept of transcendence in Charles Taylor's A Secular Age. I explore his definition of transcendence, its role in holding a modernity-inspired nihilism at bay, and how it is crucial to the Christian antihumanist argument that he makes. In the process, I show how the critical power of this analysis depends heavily and paradoxically on the Nietzschean antihumanism that he otherwise rejects. Through an account of what I describe as naturalistic Christianity, I argue that transcendence need not be construed as supernatural, that all of the resources necessary for a meaningful life are immanent in the natural process, which includes the semiotic capacities of Homo sapiens. Finally, I triangulate Taylor's supernatural account of transcendence, naturalistic Christianity, and Dreyfus and Kelly's physis-based account of “going beyond” our normal normality in All Things Shining: Reading the Western Classics for Meaning in a Secular Age
Keywords nihilism  god  humanism  naturalism  secular  transcendence
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9795.2011.00513.x
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,470
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 28 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Fred Dallmayr (2012). A Secular Age? Reflections on Taylor and Panikkar. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 71 (3):189-204.
John Kinsey (2010). A Secular Age – by Charles Taylor. Philosophical Investigations 33 (1):75-81.
Richard Amesbury (2010). A Secular Age – by Charles Taylor. Philosophical Investigations 33 (1):67-74.
Arto Laitinen (2010). Charles Taylor, a Secular Age. [REVIEW] Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 13 (3):353-355.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

24 ( #198,130 of 1,925,564 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #254,998 of 1,925,564 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.