Academic journal article Theological Studies

Aspiring to Fullness in a Secular Age: Essays on Religion and Theology in the Work of Charles Taylor

Academic journal article Theological Studies

Aspiring to Fullness in a Secular Age: Essays on Religion and Theology in the Work of Charles Taylor

Article excerpt

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. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame, 2014. Pp. x + 302. $39.

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.

Many examine Taylor's key explanatory distinction between transcendence and immanence, most thoroughly in Paul Janz's searching analysis from a philosophically sophisticated neo-orthodox perspective. Complementing this approach from radical orthodoxy's robust commitment to materialism, Justin Klassen extends Taylor's largely poetic response to "excarnation." Attentive to the secular pluralism of the Canadian context, Charles Colorado seeks to cast Taylor's profound theological debts as nonetheless somehow entailing weak ontological commitments, while Ruth Abbey adds sociological data to support Taylor's "conjuring [of] possibilities" and questions whether "fragilization" is really cotemporaneous with the age of authenticity. With some shoehorning, William Schweiker explores the central tensive dynamic of transcendence/immanence in the context of his own project of theological humanism, while Charles Mathewes and Joshua Yates take up Taylor's key insight into how the "Reform" movement alters that dynamic in unintended ways, cautiously opting for a Kuyper-inspired neo-Calvinism. …

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