Charles Taylor:
The Polysemy of ‘Religion’


What people mean by religion covers a wide spectrum: not only because of the differences between different faiths, but also because the category “religion” is hard to separate from that of “culture”, and is also related to what we often call “identity”. The co-existence of different religions and/or understandings of religion takes many different forms, some extremely conflictual, and others which tend to foster peaceful co-existence and mutual understanding.

Charles Taylor is Professor em. of Philosophy at McGill University, Montreal, and a Permanent Fellow at the IWM. Beyond that, he was a Visiting Professor at the Universities of Oxford, Princeton, Berkeley, Frankfurt a. M., and at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Amongst other awards and honorary degrees, he received the 2007 Templeton Prize and the 2008 Kyoto Prize, one of the world’s leading awards for lifetime achievements in the social sciences and humanities. In 2015, Charles Taylor has been awarded the prestigious $1.5 million John W. Kluge Prize for Achievement in the Study of Humanity granted by the Library of Congress. In 2016, he received the Berggruen-Prize for Philosophie and in 2018 the Blue Metropolis’s International Literary Grand Prix.

The keynote speech by Charles Taylor is part of the conference ‘The End(s) of Religious Community‘, which takes place on May 16 at the University of Vienna and on May 17. / 18. at the IWM. The conference is organised by Jason Alvis, Ludger Hagedorn and Michael Staudigl (in cooperation with University of Vienna).

Weekly Focus VII

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