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Abstract

In modern societies and cultures today, religion is widely perceived as basically even if not merely trivially “optional.” This is a contention strongly advocated by Charles Taylor, most notably in his monumental A Secular Age. Throughout his career, Taylor has made the question of religion in modernity the core of his interests. In his most recent work, A Secular Age, Taylor addresses challenging issues of what he calls the “contemporary spiritual experience” and speaks to “the spiritual hungers and tensions of secular modernity.” I critically consider three aspects of this immensely suggestive if not uncontroversial work: (1) I examine whether there is in fact a possible reversibility or revisability to the so-called ‘optional’ nature of belief that Taylor thinks is characteristic of the secular age; (2) I scrutinize Taylor's notion of “immediacy” of belief in the same milieu; (3) I interrogate his use of the term “fullness” in delineating the temper of the secular age.