A Catholic Modernity?: Charles Taylors Marianist Award Lecture, with responses by William M. Shea…

Hardcover | August 1, 1999

EditorJames L. Heft

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This book offers a series of reflections on the state of Christianity, and especially Catholicism, in the world today. The centerpiece of the volume is a lecture by the renowned philosopher Charles Taylor, from which the title of the book is taken. The lecture, delivered at Dayton Universityin January of 1996, offered Taylor the opportunity to speak about the religious dimensions of his intellectual commitment--dimensions left implicity in his philosophical writing. In fact, this is the only place where Taylor, a Roman Catholic, spells out his theological views and his sense of thecultural placement of Catholicism, its history and trajectory. He uses the occasion to argue against the common claim that obstacles to religious belief in modern culture are epistemic--that they have to do with the triumph of the scientific worldview. The real obstacles, says Taylor, are moral andspiritual, having to do with the historic failures of religious institutions. Four well-known commentators on religion and society, two Protestant, two Catholic, were invited to respond to Taylor's lecture: William M. Shea, George Marsden, Jean Bethke Elshtain, and Rosemary Luling-Haughton. Their chapters offer a variety of astute reflections on the tensions between religionand modernity, and in particular on the role that Catholicism can and should play in contemporary society. The volume concludes with Taylor's perceptive and thoughtful response to his interlocutors. A Catholic Modernity provides one of the most thoughtful conversations to date about the place of theCatholic Church in the modern world, and more generally, about the role of religion in democratic liberal societies.

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From the Publisher

This book offers a series of reflections on the state of Christianity, and especially Catholicism, in the world today. The centerpiece of the volume is a lecture by the renowned philosopher Charles Taylor, from which the title of the book is taken. The lecture, delivered at Dayton Universityin January of 1996, offered Taylor the opport...

James L. Heft is at University of Dayton.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:144 pages, 5.39 × 8.31 × 0.79 inPublished:August 1, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195131614

ISBN - 13:9780195131611

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Table of Contents

1. Charles Taylor: A Catholic Modernity?2. William M. Shea: "A Vote of Thanks to Voltaire"3. Rosemary Luling-Haughton: Transcendence and the Bewilderment of Being Modern4. George Marsden: Matteo Ricci and the Prodigal Culture5. Jean Bethke Elshtain: Augustine and Diversity6. Charles Taylor: Concluding Reflections and Comments

Editorial Reviews

"A very little but very important book....Taylor's lecture and the discussion surrounding it offer an occasion of rare grace and lucidity in trying to understand how to be Christian in a culture whose intellectual elites have, for the most part, decided that Christianity is either irrelevantor threatening."--First Things