Jacinta: And you've discovered, through this award, that Taylor was a practicing Roman Catholic. That must have surprised you.
Canto: You could've knocked me down with a feather. There was nothing in the writing of Taylor that I'd read which would have led me to believe he was religious in any sense, let alone a Roman Catholic. I was most alarmed. You see, Roman Catholicism is one form of Christianity - supposing it is a Christian organisation - that goes against the grain with me. It's authoritarian, patriarchal, hierarchical and dogmatic. The only thing about it that I admire is that its rigidity naturally creates opposing forces within itself - renegade priests, defiant nuns, egalitarian monks and so forth.
Jacinta: Yes, the question of its Christian bonafides is an interesting one. The character Jesus, though largely a construction I think, and a contradictory one, is at least consistent in always tearing into the pharisees [see, for example, Mark 12:38-40], with their airs and ceremonies and fine clothes, their pretence of power and importance. The similarities with the current Catholic hierarchy are striking. Consider too how comparatively powerless the modern Catholic church is [the pharisees, under the Roman occupation, were essentially Roman stooges]. In any case, anyone closely reading the gospels would surely have to admit that the character described therein would have no truck with Roman Catholicism - either now or in the fourth century CE.
Canto: So, now I've been wanting to revisit Charles Taylor's work for entirely different reasons. Apparently he has written a book called a A Secular Age, a near-900 page opus which presumably sets out the woes of the modern world. I intend to read it [woe is me], but in the meantime I've been catching the odd talk and interview with the revered gentleman.
Jacinta: Yes, and we'll discuss his interview in the magazine Philosophy Now next time.