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Taylor and PoliticsA Critical Introduction$
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Craig Browne and Andrew P. Lynch

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780748691937

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748691937.001.0001

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Living in a Secular Age

Living in a Secular Age

(p.129) 6 Living in a Secular Age
Taylor and Politics

Craig Browne

Andrew P. Lynch

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter assesses the political implications of Taylor’s landmark work A Secular Age and provides an analysis of the book’s content and its implications for debates about religion in modern times. The chapter shows how Taylor understands secularisation today as being about the options that social agents can have to believe or not believe, and how they express what they do or do not believe. The chapter explores how historical developments such as the Enlightenment and Deism have led to this situation, and how people today reveal advanced notions of romantic individuality which he calls expressive individualism. The chapter unpacks key concepts developed in Taylor’s book, such as the buffered self, exclusive humanism, authenticity, and the immanent frame. Finally, the chapter shows how upheavals such as the social changes of the 1960s have influenced modern views about religion and secularity.

Keywords:   Religion, Secularisation, Buffered self, Exclusive humanism, Authenticity, Immanent frame

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