This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. For more information, see our privacy statement

New Left Review 52, July-August 2008


Gregor McLennan on Charles Taylor, A Secular Age. A dialectical account of God’s role under conditions of modernity, with otherworldly intimations of ‘fullness’ compensating for materialism’s spiritual void.

GREGOR MCLENNAN

AMONG THE UNBELIEVERS

According to Karl Marx, by 1844 the criticism of religion—the ‘premise’ of all social criticism—was ‘essentially complete’. A hundred and sixty years later, Edward Said endorsed the sentiment in Humanism and Democratic Criticism—though more by way of hope than expectation, given the persistent dangers posed by ‘religious enthusiasm’. ‘Surely’, Said entreated, ‘it must be a major part of the humanistic vocation to keep a fully rounded secular perspective’. For today, it is routinely doubted that secular criticism can offer a ‘fully rounded’ perspective on our contemporary predicament: either some intrinsic religiosity must be included within a more spiritually expansive humanism, or else materialists will have to accept that their work will never be complete.

Subscribe for just £36 and get free access to the archive
Please login on the left to read more or buy the article for £3

Username:

Gregor McLennan, ‘Among the Unbelievers’, NLR 52: £3
Password:
 



If you want to create a new NLR account please register here

’My institution subscribes to NLR, why can't I access this article?’

Download a PDF file


See the contents of NLR 52


Buy a copy of NLR 52


Subscriptions