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Cultural sociology in a secular age

Cultural sociology in a secular age American Journal of Cultural Sociology https://doi.org/10.1057/s41290-020-00098-8 ORIGINAL AR TICLE Jeffrey C. Alexander © Springer Nature Limited 2020 In a session devoted to Charles Taylor’s A  Secular Age on the tenth anniversary of its publication, I feel a bit out of place, neither a sociologist of religion nor a believer. I am, however, an interpreter of sociologists of religion, among them Dur- kheim, Weber, and my own teacher, Robert Bellah. I have also been a theorist deeply engaged in creating a more cultural sociology. My goal has been to redefine moder - nity by conceptualizing the continuing significance of such “traditional” phenomena as collective consciousness, symbols, sacred and profane codes, narratives, social performances and dramas, cultural traumas, and iconic consciousness. I approach Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age (SA) not directly, as a sociologist of religion, but obliquely, as a theorist who sees theological religion, not as the sine qua non of deep culture but rather as one among its powerful forms. I deeply appre- ciate the manner in which Taylor’s rich re-interpretation of belief and unbelief pro- vides a more nuanced understanding of how both may thrive in a secular age. What I question is Taylor’s understanding of the “modern” society within http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Journal of Cultural Sociology Springer Journals

Cultural sociology in a secular age

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © Springer Nature Limited 2020
ISSN
2049-7113
eISSN
2049-7121
DOI
10.1057/s41290-020-00098-8
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

American Journal of Cultural Sociology https://doi.org/10.1057/s41290-020-00098-8 ORIGINAL AR TICLE Jeffrey C. Alexander © Springer Nature Limited 2020 In a session devoted to Charles Taylor’s A  Secular Age on the tenth anniversary of its publication, I feel a bit out of place, neither a sociologist of religion nor a believer. I am, however, an interpreter of sociologists of religion, among them Dur- kheim, Weber, and my own teacher, Robert Bellah. I have also been a theorist deeply engaged in creating a more cultural sociology. My goal has been to redefine moder - nity by conceptualizing the continuing significance of such “traditional” phenomena as collective consciousness, symbols, sacred and profane codes, narratives, social performances and dramas, cultural traumas, and iconic consciousness. I approach Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age (SA) not directly, as a sociologist of religion, but obliquely, as a theorist who sees theological religion, not as the sine qua non of deep culture but rather as one among its powerful forms. I deeply appre- ciate the manner in which Taylor’s rich re-interpretation of belief and unbelief pro- vides a more nuanced understanding of how both may thrive in a secular age. What I question is Taylor’s understanding of the “modern” society within

Journal

American Journal of Cultural SociologySpringer Journals

Published: Mar 26, 2020

References