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Aspiring to Fullness in a Secular Age

Aspiring to Fullness in a Secular Age

Essays on Religion and Theology in the Work of Charles Taylor

Edited by Carlos D. Colorado and Justin D. Klassen

Aspiring to Fullness in a Secular Age, whose title is inspired by Charles Taylor’s magisterial A Secular Age, offers a host of expert analyses of the religious and theological threads running throughout Taylor’s oeuvre, illuminating further his approaches to morality, politics, history, and philosophy. Although the scope of Taylor’s insight into modern secularity has been widely recognized by his fellow social theorists and philosophers, Aspiring to Fullness focuses on Taylor’s insights regarding questions of religious experience. It is with a view to such experience that the volume’s contributors consider and assess Taylor’s broad analysis of the limits and potentialities of the present age in regard to human fullness or fulfillment.

The essays in this volume address crucial questions about the function and significance of religious accounts of transcendence in Taylor’s overall philosophical project; the critical purchase and limitations of Taylor’s assessment of the centrality of codes and institutions in modern political ethics; the possibilities inherent in Taylor’s brand of post-Nietzschean theism; the significance and meaning of Taylor’s ambivalence about modern destiny; the possibility of a practical application of his insights within particular contemporary religious communities; and the overall implications of Taylor’s thought for theology and philosophy of religion. Although some commentators have referred to a recent religious “turn” in Taylor’s work, the contributors to Aspiring to Fullness in a Secular Age examine the ways in which transcendence functions, both explicitly and implicitly, in Taylor’s philosophical project as a whole.

Contributors: Ruth Abbey, Ian Angus, Carlos D. Colorado, Eric Gregory, Jennifer A. Herdt, Leah Hunt-Hendrix, Paul D. Janz, Justin D. Klassen, Charles Mathewes, William Schweiker, Bruce K. Ward, Joshua Yates.

“Carlos D. Colorado and Justin D. Klassen have gathered thoughtful, intelligent essays that address Charles Taylor’s emergent theological views and their role in his thought and work. All of the contributions thoughtfully and clearly explore what Taylor says about the role of a transcendentally oriented religious commitment in the modern, secular world. They also show where Taylor’s analysis of human existence and modern identity exposes an opening for theologically serious thinking within the context of philosophical, ethical, and even political thought.” — Michael L. Morgan, Chancellor’s Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Jewish Studies, Indiana University

“There has been a great deal written about Charles Taylor as philosopher, but surprisingly little on theology and religion in Taylor’s work, as if his status as a Catholic thinker were purely accidental. This book admirably addresses that need, exploring the ways that Taylor breaks through the confinement of the immanent frame. The authors of this volume investigate the subtle interactions in Taylor’s thought between authenticity and pluralism, humanism and apocalypticism, suffering and kenosis, and much more. The diversity and acuity of the authors gathered here ensure a lively argument that will interest anyone concerned with questions of religion and secularity.” — William T. Cavanaugh, DePaul University

“By focusing on the religious aspects of Charles Taylor’s work and by offering critical evaluations of his suggestions for the role of religion in a secular age, this volume constitutes a distinct contribution to commentaries on Taylor’s work. The volume should be significant to anyone interested in Taylor and the importance of modernity, secularity, and religion.” — Jens Zimmermann, Canada Research Chair in Interpretation, Religion and Culture, Trinity Western University

ISBN: 978-0-268-02376-8
E-ISBN 978-0-268-07702-0
312 pages
Publication Year: 2014

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Carlos D. Colorado is associate professor of religion and culture at the University of Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada.

Justin D. Klassen is assistant professor of theology at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky.

“Aspiring to Fullness in a Secular Age . . . offers a host of analyses of the religious and theological threads running throughout Taylor’s oeuvre.” — Publishers Weekly

“The importance of Charles Taylor’s theological commitments for his broader reflections on modernity and social theory is only matched by their incompleteness. This engaging collection of essays ferrets out and evaluates these commitments . . . . I highly recommend the volume for shedding light on Taylor’s complex, crucial, yet often opaque theological claims.” — Theological Studies

“In Aspiring to Fullness in a Secular Age, Carlos Colorado and Justin Klassen have gathered twelve eminently capable scholars, a mix of renowned commentators and newer academics, to guide us in viewing the role of religion and theology in Taylor’s work . . . . With its accessible length, helpful index and incisive commentary, Aspiring to Fullness offers an excellent guide for entry into Taylor’s large and growing work in the field.” — Theologische Literaturzeitung

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Aspiring to Fullness in a Secular Age

Essays on Religion and Theology in the Work of Charles Taylor


Edited by Carlos D. Colorado and Justin D. Klassen

 Aspiring to Fullness in a Secular Age: Essays on Religion and Theology in the Work of Charles Taylor
Paper Edition
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Aspiring to Fullness in a Secular Age, whose title is inspired by Charles Taylor’s magisterial A Secular Age, offers a host of expert analyses of the religious and theological threads running throughout Taylor’s oeuvre, illuminating further his approaches to morality, politics, history, and philosophy. Although the scope of Taylor’s insight into modern secularity has been widely recognized by his fellow social theorists and philosophers, Aspiring to Fullness focuses on Taylor’s insights regarding questions of religious experience. It is with a view to such experience that the volume’s contributors consider and assess Taylor’s broad analysis of the limits and potentialities of the present age in regard to human fullness or fulfillment.

The essays in this volume address crucial questions about the function and significance of religious accounts of transcendence in Taylor’s overall philosophical project; the critical purchase and limitations of Taylor’s assessment of the centrality of codes and institutions in modern political ethics; the possibilities inherent in Taylor’s brand of post-Nietzschean theism; the significance and meaning of Taylor’s ambivalence about modern destiny; the possibility of a practical application of his insights within particular contemporary religious communities; and the overall implications of Taylor’s thought for theology and philosophy of religion. Although some commentators have referred to a recent religious “turn” in Taylor’s work, the contributors to Aspiring to Fullness in a Secular Age examine the ways in which transcendence functions, both explicitly and implicitly, in Taylor’s philosophical project as a whole.

Contributors: Ruth Abbey, Ian Angus, Carlos D. Colorado, Eric Gregory, Jennifer A. Herdt, Leah Hunt-Hendrix, Paul D. Janz, Justin D. Klassen, Charles Mathewes, William Schweiker, Bruce K. Ward, Joshua Yates.

“Carlos D. Colorado and Justin D. Klassen have gathered thoughtful, intelligent essays that address Charles Taylor’s emergent theological views and their role in his thought and work. All of the contributions thoughtfully and clearly explore what Taylor says about the role of a transcendentally oriented religious commitment in the modern, secular world. They also show where Taylor’s analysis of human existence and modern identity exposes an opening for theologically serious thinking within the context of philosophical, ethical, and even political thought.” — Michael L. Morgan, Chancellor’s Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Jewish Studies, Indiana University

“There has been a great deal written about Charles Taylor as philosopher, but surprisingly little on theology and religion in Taylor’s work, as if his status as a Catholic thinker were purely accidental. This book admirably addresses that need, exploring the ways that Taylor breaks through the confinement of the immanent frame. The authors of this volume investigate the subtle interactions in Taylor’s thought between authenticity and pluralism, humanism and apocalypticism, suffering and kenosis, and much more. The diversity and acuity of the authors gathered here ensure a lively argument that will interest anyone concerned with questions of religion and secularity.” — William T. Cavanaugh, DePaul University

“By focusing on the religious aspects of Charles Taylor’s work and by offering critical evaluations of his suggestions for the role of religion in a secular age, this volume constitutes a distinct contribution to commentaries on Taylor’s work. The volume should be significant to anyone interested in Taylor and the importance of modernity, secularity, and religion.” — Jens Zimmermann, Canada Research Chair in Interpretation, Religion and Culture, Trinity Western University

ISBN: 978-0-268-02376-8

312 pages

“Aspiring to Fullness in a Secular Age . . . offers a host of analyses of the religious and theological threads running throughout Taylor’s oeuvre.” — Publishers Weekly

“The importance of Charles Taylor’s theological commitments for his broader reflections on modernity and social theory is only matched by their incompleteness. This engaging collection of essays ferrets out and evaluates these commitments . . . . I highly recommend the volume for shedding light on Taylor’s complex, crucial, yet often opaque theological claims.” — Theological Studies

“In Aspiring to Fullness in a Secular Age, Carlos Colorado and Justin Klassen have gathered twelve eminently capable scholars, a mix of renowned commentators and newer academics, to guide us in viewing the role of religion and theology in Taylor’s work . . . . With its accessible length, helpful index and incisive commentary, Aspiring to Fullness offers an excellent guide for entry into Taylor’s large and growing work in the field.” — Theologische Literaturzeitung