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Found on the chapel floor in front of the altar.  Berkeley USA, May 2012.

“[T]he change I want to define and trace is one which takes us from a society in which it was virtually impossible not to believe in God, to one in which faith, even for the staunchest believer, is one human possibility among others. I may find it inconceivable that I would abandon my faith, but there are others, including possibly some very close to me, whose way of living I cannot in all honesty dismiss as depraved, or blind, or unworthy, who have no faith (at least not in God, or the transcendent). Belief in God is no longer axiomatic. There are alternatives. And this will also likely mean that at least in certain, milieux, it may be hard to sustain one;s faith. There will be people who feel bound to give it up, even though they mourn its loss. This has been a recognizable experience in our societies, at least since the mid-nineteenth century. There will be many others to whom faith never even seems an eligible possibility. There are certainly millions today of whom this is true.

“Secularity in this sense is a natter of the whole context of understanding in which our moral, spiritual or religious experience and search takes place…. [A] secular age is one in which the eclipse of all goals beyond human flourishing becomes conceivable, or better, it falls within the range of an imaginable life for masses of people. This is the crucial link between secularity and a self-sufficing humanism….

“This is the global context in a society which contains different milieux, within each of which the default option may be different from others, although the dwellers within each are very aware of the options favoured by the others, and cannot just dismiss them as inexplicable exotic error.”

– Charles Taylor, A SECULAR AGE

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