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
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9795.2011.00513.x
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After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory.Alasdair C. MacIntyre - 2007 - University of Notre Dame Press.
The Principles of Psychology.William James - 1890 - Dover Publications.

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