Ecclesiology in a secular age ecclesiological implications of the work of Charles Taylor and Bernard Lonergan

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.A. in Theology


Department of Religious Studies


Advisor: Dennis Doyle


The contemporary condition of secularity poses a unique environment in which the Church becomes incarnate in the world. The subject of secularity itself has been the focus of serious academic study, and two broad sources of this phenomenon can be drawn from the lifetime work of Charles Taylor: the rise of foundational epistemology and particular changes within the modern social imaginary. These two paradigm shifts have created a latent moral and religious skepticism within contemporary secular society in which it is generally accepted that complex moral and religious issues cannot be arbitrated by reason and must ultimately be decided on the basis of an individual's personal feeling. In this thesis, the author draws on an integration of studies by Charles Taylor and Bernard Lonergan to establish that intellectual, moral, and religious conversion form the basis for the act of knowing and therefore provide an adequate theological response to the problem of skepticism. Furthermore, the author examines the social imaginary particular to contemporary secular society in order to develop a means by which the Church is able draw on sacramentality, communion, catholicity, the liturgy, and cosmology to embody an incarnational spirituality in a secular age.


Taylor, Charles, 1931- Criticism and interpretation, Lonergan, Bernard J. F. Criticism and interpretation, Church, Church and the world

Rights Statement

Copyright 2010, author