Enter your mobile number 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.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

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

Qty:1
  • List Price: $50.00
  • Save: $5.90 (12%)
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
A Secular Age has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Used book in very good condition. There are a few light pencil underlines in the introduction dropping the condition to good. Otherwise clean and tight, inside and out.
Trade in your item
Get a $12.18
Gift Card.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

A Secular Age Hardcover – October 20, 2007

3.9 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$44.10
$36.44 $24.28

The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
$44.10 FREE Shipping. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • A Secular Age
  • +
  • How (Not) to Be Secular: Reading Charles Taylor
Total price: $53.85
Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 896 pages
  • Publisher: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press; 1st edition (September 20, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674026764
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674026766
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.6 x 2.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,796 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robin Friedman HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Charles Taylor is a Canadian philosopher who has written extensively on the interplay between the religious and secular attitudes towards life. His recent book, "A Secular Age" explores this relationship in great and thoughtful detail from both a historical and a deeply personal perspective. The book is based in part on the Gifford Lectures that Taylor delivered in Edinburgh in 1997. (William James, a philosopher Taylor admires, also delivered a set of Gifford Lectures which became "The Varieties of Religious Experience".) But the book was expanded greatly from Taylor's Gifford lectures, and he aptly advises the reader "not to think of it as a continuous story-and-argument, but rather as a series of interlocking essays, which shed light on each other,, and offer a context of relevance for each other." (Preface) Taylor's book received the 2007 Templeton Prize. The Templeton Prize is awarded "for progress toward research or discovery about spiritual realities." It carries with it the largest cash award of any major prize or honor.

A good deal of Taylor's book is devoted to understanding the nature of secularism and the different contexts in which the word "secularism" is used. For the larger part of the book, Taylor describes a "secular age" as an age in which unbelief in God or in Transcendent reality has become a live option to many people. He describes our age as such a "secular age" especially among academics and other intellectuals. He wants to give an account of how secularism developed, of its strengths and weaknesses, and of its current significance.

Taylor's book is written on a personal, historical, and contemporary level. Taylor is a believing contemporary Catholic, and much of his treatment of religious belief reflects his own Catholic/Christian commitments.
Read more ›
7 Comments 241 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
If you have no previous experience of Charles Taylor, this is not the place to start: 872 pages are a heavy commitment, and Taylor is far from being a great writer. If you want your thinking challenged, try his short essay A Catholic Modernity?: Charles Taylor's Marianist Award Lecture, with responses by William M. Shea, Rosemary Luling Haughton, George Marsden, and Jean Bethke Elshtain, where he previews the argument that secularism actually makes for a fuller realization of Christ's teachings than Christianity allowed. Or, from a different perspective, try William Connolly's Why I Am Not a Secularist, which argues that secular principles are better realized by relaxing secularism.

That said, A Secular Age is vintage Taylor, tracing the roots of secularism deep into the furthest reaches of theology and tracing a series of complicated genealogies of modern thought. It's tough going, and Taylor does have a tendency to loop and qualify in the course of elaborating his claims. But if you have the patience for this kind of Hegel-inspired intellectual-philosophical history, you can count on having your thinking nuanced and complicated as well as encountering all sorts of nearly forgotten thinkers from across the Western tradition. It extends and completes some of the arguments advanced in his earlier Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity
1 Comment 220 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Kindle edition is useless for serious readers. The "Kindle editors" who prepared this edition clearly have no knowledge of why scholarly apparatus (notes, bibliograpny, index) is important. These research tools were given little or no consideration. The index is in impossibly small type that cannot be enlarged. Kindle's X-ray feature is apparently not available for this title, so the page numbers in the index are useless anyway. This also means that quoting from this Kindle edition is impossible. Looking up page references to this work from other authors is also impossible. The notes are gathered at the end, and the text callouts do not take you there. You must pick your way through via "locations" -- and this book is 896 pages long! (It makes me wonder if the Kindle digitizers have ever even read a "real" book.)

At a price of $36.80 for this Kindle edition, I expected the digital formatting to be properly done. Shame on both Amazon and The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press for selling this shoddy and useless edition for such an outrageous price.

Charles Taylor is a brilliant thinker. His work deserves far better editions than this Kindle one.
10 Comments 137 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
As someone who spends much of my time as an undergraduate teacher of theology and church-based adult educator, I regularly run up against what Taylor calls the "subtraction theory" of why secularism has largely replaced Christian faith in the Western world as the default starting point for educated people. Taylor's painstaking, detailed journey through the past five hundred years shows the constructed nature of this implicit "common sense" and then thoroughly demolishes it. Anyone who has sought to engage "atheists" or "agnostics" on why they presume (rather than express a reasoned basis for their view) that religion is for "fools" or children owes a deep debt of gratitude to Taylor's work.

Other reviewers have noted several of the stylistic flaws, such as the tendency toward repetition, the assumption that readers speak French, and so forth. I'd simply like to add a brief note of two substantive limitations.

First, Taylor's definition of "religion" is narrow, and thus misses the "religious" aspects of other forms of social/cultural bonding that function as "religions" in our world, from the relatively trivial (such as sports partisanship) to the more serious (such as patriotism and scientism). His argument is thus directed between "belief" and "unbelief," rather than between various forms of belief systems. As he notes (but does not discuss in detail), scientism functions religiously for many, including such popular authors as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, famous for their supposed "debunking" of "religion." This diminishes the power of his argument to refute some of the more powerful forms of "belief" in our world today.
Read more ›
4 Comments 100 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

A Secular Age
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: A Secular Age