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Posts tagged "Charles Taylor"

All Alone in a Disenchanted Universe

All Alone in a Disenchanted Universe

Did anyone actually see Miss Sloane in theaters? I remember seeing a trailer for it some moon cycles ago, but never did hear much buzz about it. That is, until last weekend, when, after some coaxing from my sister, I watched it on Amazon.

In any case, you don’t have to see the movie to know, essentially, who Miss Sloane is. You’ve likely encountered her “type” before, whether in movies or daily life. She’s a ruthless fast-talker, wicked-smart, but terribly lonely. The kind of person some would call a strong, independent woman and others would call an obsessive-compulsive conniver. A notorious…

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Another Tragic Irony

Following on from the section of Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age that we posted a couple weeks ago:

We fight against injustices which cry out to heaven for vengeance. We are moved by a flaming indignation against these: racism, oppression, sexism, or leftist attacks on the family or Christian faith. This indignation comes to be fueled by hatred for those who support and connive with these injustices; and this in turn is fed by our sense of superiority that we are not like these instruments and accomplices of evil. Soon we are blinded to the havoc we wreak around us. Our picture of the world has safely located all evil outside of us. The very energy and hatred with which we combat evil proves its exteriority to us…

Another tragic irony nests here. The stronger the sense of (often correctly identified) injustice, the more powerfully this pattern can become entrenched. We become centres of hatred, generators of new modes of injustice on a greater scale, but we started with the most exquisite sense of wrong, the greatest passion for justice and equality and peace. (pg 698)

The Janus Face of Lofty Humanism

The Janus Face of Lofty Humanism

Taken from page 687 of Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age:

In replacing the low and demeaning picture of human beings as depraved, inveterate sinners, in articulating the potential of human beings for goodness and greatness, humanism has not only given us the courage to act for reform, but also explains why this philanthropic action is so immensely worthwhile. The higher the human potential, the greater the enterprise of realizing it, and the more the carriers of this potential are worthy of our help in achieving it.

But philanthropy and solidarity driven by a lofty humanism, just as that which was driven often…

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Are You Washed in the Blood of the Lion?

Are You Washed in the Blood of the Lion?

I’m sure I’m not the only one who thought people were joking at first with the whole #Cecilthelion fracas last week. I was traveling, so I only heard snippets of what had gotten people so upset. Once I realized they were serious, surely I was missing something. Alas, even after reading up on the admittedly grotesque incident, the whole thing feels too much like a send-up of internet outrage, parodic in both subject and intensity, like something Black Mirror might do. The joke was on me, I guess. Until I remembered Tim Kreider’s immortal diagnosis of the phenomenon:

So many letters to the editor and…

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The Top (Mockingbird) Theology Books of 2014

The Top (Mockingbird) Theology Books of 2014

Some years of theology publications are better than others, and to be honest the crop has not been so plentiful this year. But the books that have come out are pretty fantastic, and well worth a read.

The Second Letter to the Corinthians by Mark Seifrid. This is not your normal commentary! Rather than retreading ad nauseum all of usual topics commentaries cover like authorship, dating, provenance, Greek parsings etc., Seifrid’s main purpose is to explicate Paul’s theological logic throughout the book. The Paul that emerges is one of real theological breadth and profound commitment to the grace of God in…

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Charles Taylor on the Obsession with Getting Ourselves to Act Right

Charles Taylor on the Obsession with Getting Ourselves to Act Right

A pretty stunning passage from philosopher Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age describing the 19th century slide that Christianity took into moralism, and how the natural endpoint of that slide is unbelief, ht KW:

Perhaps the most important for our purposes was the protest against a narrowing of the ends of life to a code of conduct: This ethic of discipline, in both believing and unbelieving variants, was a moralism. It put discipline, self-control, the achieving of a high moral standard as the supreme goal. This tended to be true even of the Evangelical modes, which had after all started in the…

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