Digital List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $9.99

Save $6.01 (38%)

These promotions will be applied to this item:

Some promotions may be combined; others are not eligible to be combined with other offers. For details, please see the Terms & Conditions associated with these promotions.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

How (Not) to Be Secular: Reading Charles Taylor by [Smith, James K. A.]
Kindle App Ad

How (Not) to Be Secular: Reading Charles Taylor Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 87 customer reviews

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from

Length: 161 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

click to open popover

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Editorial Reviews


Conrad Grebel Review
"Readers in any church tradition, or none at all, can benefit from Smith's accessible and lively book."

Tim Keller
—Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York City
"Charles Taylor's crucial book on our secular age is inaccessible for most people, including the church leaders who desperately need to learn from its insight. Jamie Smith's book is the solution to this problem. As a gateway into Taylor's thought, this volume (if read widely) could have a major impact on the level of theological leadership that our contemporary church is getting. It could also have a great effect on the quality of our communication and preaching. I highly recommend this book."

T. M. Luhrmann
—Stanford University
"This is a brilliant, beautifully written book on the dilemma of faith in a modern secular age. It introduces the reader to the material in Taylor's dense book, of course, but it does more. It invites the reader on a journey through the experience of the spirit in different centuries, and how our conceptions of mind and person shape belief in ways far more intimate than we usually imagine. How (Not) to Be Secular is a gem."

Hans Boersma
—Regent College
"Charles Taylor's daunting tome, A Secular Age, has just turned a great deal less intimidating. Combining his usual lucid style, his love for literature, and his passion for the church's future, Jamie Smith offers a faithful guide through the pages of Taylor's monumental work. Along the way, he wisely cautions his co-religionists against facile responses to the `disenchantment' of modernity, but he also insists that the Christian faith may have much more going for it than many recognize."

Review of Metaphysics
"I highly recommend Smith's book, a short and clear introduction to Taylor's A Secular Age. Having slogged through Taylor's book, I think that Smith's book communicates well, contra MacIntyre, Taylor's analysis and extraordinary skill. . . . Illuminating and insightful."

Christian Century
"The importance of A Secular Age is matched by its inaccessibility. It is a great woolly mammoth of a book. . . . Smith's book does great work in opening Taylor's tome to a wider readership. His commentary is clear, accurate, and insightful. It is also concise, leading readers deep into Taylor's ideas in well under 200 pages. Smith's sure grasp of Taylor's big picture makes the details of the argument pop with fresh intelligibility."

Religious Studies Review
"For those who have been intimidated by Charles Taylor's massive tome A Secular Age (2007), Smith has provided an accessible entry point to Taylor's work in How (Not) To Be Secular. . . . The work endeavors to distill Taylor's work for a wider audience and is more digestible than Taylor's daunting volume thanks to Smith's lucid and engaging prose. Those desiring an accurate summary of Taylor's work or those looking for a more sophisticated understanding of the secular age would find this book well worth the time."

Books & Culture
"An altogether readable, charming and short introduction to Taylor's behemoth."

First Things
"Those looking for an introduction to this supremely important work (Taylor's A Secular Age) but reluctant to wade through its 896 pages can turn to this economical commentary."

"Smith offers a reader's guide to Taylor's lengthy work. This book succeeds as both a summation of Taylor's argument . . . and as a light critique. . . .A sympathetic, astute summation of Taylor's most ambitious work. Recommended."

Englewood Review of Books
"This is philosophy with feet, a thick theology that will get your heart beating because it meets you in the complicated world we all share."

University Bookman
"Already in previous books Smith has proven himself adept at translating difficult philosophical and theological ideas for the broader church and culture. How (Not) to Be Secular continues in this trajectory. It is part cultural analysis, part philosophical ethnography, always accessible, and always with an eye toward the implications of Taylor's insights for the practice of Christian faith."

"Splendid, yet accessible and brief overview and discussion of what is arguably the most widely discussed work of philosophy of the last twenty years."

The Presbyterian Outlook
"If one wants to understand the roots of our current cultural condition, Charles Taylor's book is essential. There is no better guide to it than James K. A. Smith."

Los Angeles Review of Books
"Well written, clear, and accessible. Most important, it supplies a very reliable reconstruction of the essentials of Taylor's position. Smith is particularly adept at emphasizing the existential quality of Taylor's analysis of secularity: what does it feel like to be a believer or non-believer in the modern Western world? . . . Anyone seeking a quick but dependable overview of Taylor's argument in A Secular Age would benefit immensely from Smith's book. . . . [It] is a fine achievement and accomplishes just what it sets out to: providing its readers with a reliable road map to Charles Taylor's account of our secular age."

About the Author

James K. A. Smith is professor of philosophy at Calvin College, where he also teaches in the congregational and ministry studies department.

Product details

  • File Size: 994 KB
  • Print Length: 161 pages
  • Publisher: Eerdmans; 1st edition (May 1, 2014)
  • Publication Date: May 1, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00JJ1RIO2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #158,286 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  • Would you like to tell us about a lower price?

Customer reviews

Rated by customers interested in
Religion & Spirituality Books
4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Philosophy Books
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Christian Books & Bibles
4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars

Top customer reviews

on June 25, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
0Comment| 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 20, 2014
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
11 comment| 36 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 22, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
1212 comments| 84 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Most recent customer reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

How (Not) to Be Secular: Reading Charles Taylor
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: How (Not) to Be Secular: Reading Charles Taylor