Spirituality is a difficult subject in the modern world. Everywhere, from popular media to the university, from the bookshelf to the dinner table, religions are derided or marginalised and public figures, such as Richard Dawkins, set upon anyone who admits to a belief in God.
It seems that science and religion are fundamentally at odds and that a mutual respect is unacceptable to either in their parallel pursuit of ‘truth’. Yet the majority of Enlightenment authors engaged with both science and spirituality and did not lose their faith. Today we tend to see these authors as not having applied full scientific rigour to their religious beliefs, but are we correct in dismissing this aspect of their lives so easily?
In Secularism, Mike King examines the elements of religion, philosophy and science which have contributed to an almost total disavowal of spirituality by contemporary western intellectuals. He engages with a wide range of thinkers, including Pythagoras, Marx, Spinoza, Darwin and Nietzsche, and incorporates detailed studies of a variety of ‘spiritual’ leaders, some of whom readers are unlikely to have considered in this way before, to uncover why the western world no longer has any interest in devotion or accords it any respect.
- The first of two volumes on this fascinating and timely subject.
- A startling critique of western culture and its dismissal of ‘faith’.
- A scintillating and insightful read for academic and lay person alike.