Christianity in a Post-Christian Culture

AP9162C
crosslisted as DA9162C and DP9162C

Most Rev. Dr Mark Edwards OMI DD
Not offered in 2020

This unit will provide students with language to understand more critically both our Western secular world and themselves, in order that they are able to engage critically with the concepts of immanence and secularity. Apart from its intrinsic philosophical interest, the unit aims to give access to an important intellectual underpinning for pastoral care and for missiology in this secular age. Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age (2007) is a seminal work that gives a philosophical/history-of-ideas account of the development and spread of exclusive humanism as a viable alternative to Christianity to whole societies. Parts 4 and 5 of this book provide a mental map of our secular world with its longings, projects and searches for significance within an “immanent frame.” This immanent frame is the focus of this course, along with critical consideration of the discourse on the work that emerged after its publication, for example, by thinkers such as Hunter (2011), Harrison (2010), and Milbank (varia). 

Prerequisites

none

Mode

face-to-face 2-hour weekly classes in semester, or in intensive mode, plus personal study

Assessment

  • one 4,000-word essay 50%
  • one 1,000-word skeleton argument 10%
  • two 1,000-word tutorial papers/summative reflections 40%
or
  • one 6,000-word essay 90%
  • one 1,000-word skeleton argument 10% 

Set Texts Recommended for Purchase

  • Smith, James K. A. How (Not) To Be Secular: Reading Charles Taylor. Cambridge: Eerdmans, 2014. 
  • Taylor, Charles. A Secular Age. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007.

Bibliography

  • Cayley, David with Charles Taylor. The Malaise of Modernity. Podcasts part 1–5
  • Chau, Carolyn A. Solidarity with the World: Charles Taylor and Hans Urs von Balthasar on Faith, Modernity, and Catholic Mission. Theopolitical Visions 19. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2016.
  • Colorado, Carlos D., and Justin D. Klassen, eds. Aspiring to Fullness in a Secular Age: Essays on Religion and Theology in the Work of Charles Taylor. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2014
  • Hansen, Collin. Our Secular Age: Ten Years of Reading and Applying Charles Taylor. Deerfield, IL: The Gospel Coalition, 2017.
  • McEvoy, James. Leaving Christendom for Good: Church-World Dialogue in a Secular Age. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books. 2016. 
  • Warner, Michael, Jonathan Van Antwerpen, and Craig Calhoun, eds. Varieties of Secularism in a Secular Age. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010. 
  • Zemmin, Florian, Colin Jager, and Guido Vanheeswijck, eds. Working with A Secular Age: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Charles Taylor’s Master Narrative. Religion and Its Others 3. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2015.