A Catholic Intellectual and Philosopher

2007 Templeton Prize winner and Kyoto Prize laureate (The Japanese “Nobel Prize”)Canadian Charles Margrave Taylor is reputed to be a genial man with a predisposition to laughter, often at himself.

Perhaps more importantly, for a thinker who coined the term “malaise of modernity” he is also an optimist. He is also a Catholic – do you know of him or have you read any of his books?

He is considered a philosopher’s philosopher by his peers, exhibiting a rare mastery across an impressive spectrum of ideas only increases admiration. The author of more than a dozen books, including the widely praised “Sources of the Self” and the masterful “A Secular Age,” (reading selections in another post) Taylor’s work explores a dizzying array of disciplines – philosophy, religion, political theory, moral theory, and ethics, among others.

I’ve included a bibliography of his work with comments by Dr. Taylor as well as reading selections from an interview on the occasion of his being awarded the Templeton Prize.

Lindsay Waters, executive editor at Harvard University Press, has said, “Charles Taylor’s passionate philosophy allows him to zero in on the most distinctively human issues of our time, and not be afraid.”

Hope you enjoy reading about one of our leading intellectuals and philosophers. You can find it all here:


Dr. Taylors syndicated columns can be found here:




Today I posted my reading notes and selections from the opening chapters of A Secular Age which lay out the framework for the rest of the book. It’s 872 pages and although I found it readable and will return to it, I’ve decided to take the advice of another reader to read the shorter A Catholic Modernity? (Oxford University Press, 1999) The latter is a published version of the Marianist Lecture that Dr. Taylor gave in Dayton where he casts the issue of how the Catholic Church should relate to the modern world.

In the meantime these reading selections give a good overview of A Secular Age and function as a companion post to the interview and selections from the 2007 Templeton Prize speech I featured yesterday.

I think A Secular Age is one of the most important books for those of us who think about the religious landscape in America because it has wonderful concepts like “the buffered self” and “subtraction stories” that go a long way to explain the secular society Catholics live in.

Elsewhere on my blog you will find many references to Michael Novak’s No One Sees God, another book that helps Catholics understand the phenomena of atheism in relationship to their faith.

The book recommendation for Dr. Taylor’s A Secular Age is here:


And an interesting piece of ***No One Sees God ***is contained in this post that speaks about Carl Jung’s dark knowledge of God.



Thank you.

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