When people say that we live in a secular society, what does that really mean?
In this episode of Life & Faith, we explore the original meaning of secularism and track its development to the present day.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Marilynne Robinson kicks us off with a few reflections on what people really think about religion. Legal philosopher Iain Benson, whose writing on secularism has been cited by the highest courts in Canada and South Africa, explains the surprising origins of the secular state. And Craig Calhoun, an American sociologist who was until recently Director of the London School of Economics, offers us some snapshots of how secularism plays out in different contexts today.
Then, Charles Taylor, who essentially wrote the book on this topic – his 800-page magnum opus, A Secular Age – ties the threads together. He describes our modern secular age as one in which all people – from the most devout believer to the staunchest atheist – find themselves looking over the fence at one another’s belief systems.
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