Charles Taylor, "The Polysemy of Religion", May 17 2018

On May 17 2018, Charles Taylor visited Vienna and gave a lecture in course of the conference “The Ends of Religious Community”, which was organized by IWM (Institut für die Wissenschaft vom Menschen / Institute for Human Sciences) in cooperation with RaT. The lecture was entitled: “The Polysemy of Religion”. Referring to Jaspers and the revolution of Axial Age, Taylor emphasized the separation of religion and other spheres (e.g. religious – secular, religious – magical et cetera) as a result of this revolution. But at the same time, non-European perspectives contrast these oppositions. Taking that into account, the distinction turns out to be more complex. The polysemy of religion was also considered concerning present age. The fact that different political movements use religion as a marker of identity also influences religious life itself, and this ought to be taken into account. The self-perception of religious communities should reflect this shift in their role within societies.