This volume presents an integrated collection of constructive essays by eminent Catholic scholars addressing the new challenges and opportunities facing religious believers under shifting conditions of secularity and "post-secularity."
Using an innovative "keywords" approach, At the Limits of the Secular is an interdisciplinary effort to think through the implications of secular consciousness for the role of religion in public affairs. The book responds in some ways to Charles Taylor's magnum opus, A Secular Age, although it also stands on its own. It features an original essay by David Tracy -- the most prominent American Catholic theologian writing today -- and groundbreaking contributions by influential younger theologians such as Peter Casarella, William Cavanaugh, and Vincent Miller.
William A. Barbieri Jr.
William T. Cavanaugh
Anthony J. Godzieba
J. Paul Martin
Vincent J. Miller
Philip J. Rossi
Robert J. Schreiter
About the authors
William A. Barbieri Jr. is associate professor of theology and religious studies at Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.
Charles Taylor, professor emeritus at McGill University, is an internationally celebrated public philosopher who strives to bridge the gap between philosophical theories and political action. He is the author of many books, including Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity (1989), in which he attempts to articulate and to write a history of the “modern identity.” He continued this theme in his 1991 Massey Lecture, “The Malaise of Modernity.” In 2003, he was the first recipient of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Gold Medal for Achievement in Research, in 2007 he won the Templeton Prize, and in June 2008 he was awarded the Kyoto Prize in arts and philosophy. Charles Taylor is a Companion of the Order of Canada.
— author of Law's Virtues: Fostering Autonomy and Solidarity in American Society
"Should the Catholic Church advocate a spirit of openness to the modern world, or should it focus upon preserving and passing on its own rich heritage? This volume suggests it might just be possible to do both -- and thereby move beyond an impasse that has paralyzed the Church since the Second Vatican Council."
Lisa Sowle Cahill
— author of Global Justice, Christology, and Christian Ethics
"William Barbieri here convenes notables in philosophy, theology, and the social sciences to address a quandary on the minds of many in modern Western societies: What does religion have to do with 'secular' public and political life? Together these authors show that religion is alive and well, and is already contributing productively to the renewal of civil society and of political participation in a renegotiated and newly hospitable 'secular' sphere. Readers will learn immensely and gain widened vision from the timely content and superb intellectual quality of this effort."
— from foreword
"This is a marvelously rich and suggestive book, which has helped to jar me out of the ruts I had fallen into. I am sure it will do the same for many others."