The Concept of Human Flourishing in Charles Taylor
Keywords:Charles Taylor, Human flourishing, Secularism, Christian humanism, Transcendence, Virtue Ethics
This essay was written for people who are not yet familiar with A Secular Age and other publications by Charles Taylor, as well as for those who are already acquainted with his work. Here I attempt to summarize, introduce and reflect upon Taylor’s massive oeuvre, with particular attention to the specific and central topic of human flourishing. I have chosen this special theme because it is essential to comprehending Taylor’s definition of what a secular age is, and because it is also a vital component of the renewal of moral theology after the Second Vatican Council. Furthermore it is an important concept for Christian humanism and Christian secularity. This essay follows Charles Taylor on his intellectual journey, as he strives to guide both secular and Christian minds to a mutual comprehension of the other’s true intentions, as well as to uncover shared values and the common concern for the human predicament. The article concludes with a reflection on the ways in which Taylor’s arguments could be improved by theology. I consider this to be the unity and distinction of nature and grace, as well as virtue ethics examined from a first person perspective.