New PDF release: A Catholic Modernity?: Charles Taylor's Marianist Award

By James L. Heft

ISBN-10: 0195131614

ISBN-13: 9780195131611

ISBN-10: 1423760468

ISBN-13: 9781423760467

This publication deals a chain of reflections at the nation of Christianity, and particularly Catholicism, on the earth at the present time. the center-piece of the amount is a lecture by way of the popular thinker Charles Taylor, from which the identify of the booklet is taken. The lecture, added at Dayton college in January of 1996, provided Taylor the chance to talk about the non secular dimensions of his highbrow commitment--dimensions left implicity in his philosophical writing. actually, this is often the single position the place Taylor, a Roman Catholic, spells out his theological perspectives and his experience of the cultural placement of Catholicism, its background and trajectory. He makes use of the celebration to argue opposed to the typical declare that stumbling blocks to non secular trust in glossy tradition are epistemic--that they must do with the triumph of the clinical worldview. the genuine hindrances, says Taylor, are ethical and religious, having to do with the ancient mess ups of spiritual institutions.

Four famous commentators on faith and society, Protestant, Catholic, have been invited to reply to Taylor's lecture: William M. Shea, George Marsden, Jean Bethke Elshtain, and Rosemary Luling-Haughton. Their chapters provide numerous astute reflections at the tensions among faith and modernity, and particularly at the position that Catholicism can and may play in modern society. the quantity concludes with Taylor's perceptive and considerate reaction to his interlocutors. A Catholic Modernity presents the most considerate conversations up to now in regards to the position of the Catholic Church within the smooth global, and extra more often than not, in regards to the function of faith in democratic liberal societies.

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Additional resources for A Catholic Modernity?: Charles Taylor's Marianist Award Lecture, with responses by William M. Shea, Rosemary Luling Haughton, George Marsden, and Jean Bethke Elshtain

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Much of my academic and personal energy over the past thirty years—since entering Columbia University's doctoral program in the study of religion—has been devoted to understanding and living with that strain between my religion and my culture. Michael J. Lacey of the Wilson Center put his finger on this "double consciousness" of Catholics. In broad cultural terms, Catholics, too, have long been regarded by America's non-Catholic intellectual elites as something of a problem. It is only the difficulty of "rightly framing the question," to use DuBois's phrasing, that has spared us from being asked more often what it feels like to be a member of a backward race, intellectually speaking, with an old world mumbojunibo all our own, fraught with formalism and clericalism, and marked by a communal history that was shaped in America by a spirit of defensiveness and the feeling, so long evident to outsiders, of being beleaguered by the main currents in modern thought.

In a sense, our journey was a flop. Imitating Ricci would involve taking ourselves a distance from our time, feeling as strange in it as he felt as he was arriving in China. But what we saw as children of Christendom was, first, something terribly familiar—certain intimations of the gospel, carried to unprecedented lengths—and second, a flat negation of our faith, exclusive humanism. But still, like Ricci, we were bewildered. We had to struggle to make a discernment, as he did. He wanted to distinguish between those things in the new culture that came from the natural knowledge we all have of God and thus should be affirmed and extended, on one hand, and those practices that were distortions and would have to be changed, on the other.

Taylor makes a historical judgment at this point. , with the medieval Catholic and early modern Protestant practice of mutual support of state and church) was necessary if certain elements of Christian faith were themselves to be liberated. These elements flower in modern ideals of universal human rights to life, freedom, citizenship, and self-realization. 16 But Christendom as an ideal has proved resilient. 18 W I L L I A M M. 19 According to Taylor, on the Catholic side of the modern equation, the task is to discern what "in the new culture came from the natural knowledge we all have of God .

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A Catholic Modernity?: Charles Taylor's Marianist Award Lecture, with responses by William M. Shea, Rosemary Luling Haughton, George Marsden, and Jean Bethke Elshtain by James L. Heft


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