Edited by Jeffrey Bloechl
What is secularity? Might it yield or define a distinctive form of reasoning? If so, would that form of reasoning belong essentially to our modern age, or would it instead have a considerably older lineage? And what might be the relation of that form of reasoning, whatever its lineage, to the Christian thinking that is often said to oppose it?
In the present volume, these and related questions are addressed by a distinguished group of scholars working primarily within the Roman Catholic theological tradition and from the perspectives of Continental philosophy. As a whole, the volume constitutes a conversation among thinkers who agree in their concerns but not necessarily their conclusions. Taken individually, each essay concentrates on a range of historical developments with close attention to their intellectual and sometimes pedagogical implications. Secular reason, they argue, is neither the antipode of Christian thought nor a stable and well-resolved component of it. Christian thinking may engage with secular reason as the site of profound difficulties, but on occasion will also learn from it as a source of new insight.
Contributors: Jeffrey Bloechl, Adriaan T. Peperzak, Peter J. Casarella, Kevin Corrigan, Cyril O’Regan, Jean-Yves Lacoste, Kevin Hart, Anthony J. Kelly, James Swindal, and Frederick G. Lawrence.
“This volume offers a variety of perspectives, some historical, some normative/constructive, on the questions of the relations between politics/culture/religion and the relations between selfhood/humanity/world. The essays are, without exception, of high quality in both scholarly-exegetical terms, and constructive-normative ones. The writers are learned, sometimes witty, and often interesting.”
— Paul Griffiths, Duke Divinity School
“This is no other volume I know of that covers just this ground. There is a substantial literature on, for example, the Habermas/Ratzinger exhange, and on Kant’s view of the relation between philosophy and religion, and on the twelfth century background for thirteenth century reflection on this relation. The merit of Christianity and Secular Reason is that it holds these threads together, and others besides, in a new and fruitful way.” — John E. Hare, Yale University
“This book features nine essays exploring shifting relations between Christianity and secular rationality. Introduced by editor Bloechl (Boston College), the essays are written by prominent American philosophers and theologians working in the Catholic tradition . . . . The essays are deeply conversant with a broad range of scholarly literature and will be of interest to serious students and scholars.” — Choice
“ . . . The book frequently raises interesting questions or new perspectives to understand the dynamic relationship between faith and reason. . . . it assists readers interested in the relationship between faith and reason to ask better questions and to understand some of the limitations of the existing dialogue.”— Secularism and Nonreligion
“This book presents as broad a representation of the hermeneutic and phenomenological methods as applied to Christianity and secular reason as one might find. As such, it is an excellent sourcebook for and would undoubtedly be of interest to scholars and advanced students working in that field. Those of a more analytic temperament may also wish to consult these essays with a view toward establishing a productive dialogue about themes of mutual interest and importance.” — Augustinian Studies
“What unifies the essays in this volume is not a common topic or a common approach but a common concern with the problem of understanding the relation between Christianity and secular reason. . . . This volume is a welcome addition to the literature on the topic of faith and reason, particularly because of its focus on the difference between secular and secularized reason, and its explicit consideration of what the Christian faith can bring to contemporary philosophical discussion.” — The Thomist