Charles Taylor on “What It Means to Be Secular”

Noted philospher Charles Taylor (who seems to be a Christian) has just been interviewed in Books and Culture on What It Means to Be Secular.

It’s pretty interesting stuff. For example

To say we live in a secular civilization is to say that God is no longer inescapable. It doesn’t mean that we live in a society from which God has been expelled. I don’t think we ever will live in such a society for very long; the Communists tried that. But the nature of this modern secular society is that it’s deeply plural. We have to accept that the ultimate grounding of the civilization we share in common is up for grabs.

and later on

There is an alternative readingnamely, that we’re moving to a society where more and more the consensus will be around an unbelieving variant of the modern social imaginary. But to me this seems to be just a dream. It’s a dream that arises among those who are deeply into an atheist or non-believing position and are convinced as a matter of faith that religion will gradually disappear and everyone will think as they do. For them, the secular world is one in which we all end up agreeing fundamentally that there’s no God, and that agreement is the basis of everything. That’s an impossible scenario, and the more they think like that, the worse it’s going to be.