“Life in a Secular Age”: An interview with James K. A. Smith
2016/09/29 § Leave a comment
Yesterday I listened to an elucidating conversation between Brett McKay (creator of The Art of Manliness) and James K. A. Smith (professor of philosophy at Calvin College). The conversation was on the topic of the secular society, which is the focus of the philosopher Charles Taylor’s work, A Secular Age. Taylor is a philosopher, a Catholic, and professor emeritus at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. Not only is his book a difficult subject to understand but it is a nearly 900 page tome. This makes it almost inaccessible to the majority of laypeople and nonspecialists. This is precisely the reason Smith wrote his text, How (Not) to Be Secular: Reading Charles Taylor. Furthermore, the conversation turns also to Smith’s recent book, You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit.
After listening to this, I intend to read both of Smith’s book. Perhaps I’ll make my way to Taylor’s book some day. For now, I will have to rely on Smith for a clear explication (which is no small feat nor is it a mistake to do: Taylor himself applauded Smith’s explication of his book).
I’m not going to write about the content of the interview, but I would strongly suggest everyone listen to the conversation. It’s very helpful in understanding who Smith is, who Taylor is, the significance of Taylor’s work, as well as a clear picture of the importance of understanding what he is saying.