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Tang Chun-I Visiting Professorship Departmental Seminar: Emptiness and Karmic Secularity

Please register by 21 October 2022 to attend the departmental seminar.


I will start my talk from a dialogue with the “significant others,” Charles Taylor and Jürgen Habermas. In 2007, Charles Taylor published A Secular Age. In 2010, Jürgen Habermas published An Awareness of What is Missing: Faith and Reason in a Post-Secular Age. As hindsight, it is not an incident for them to address the same concern on the issue of the secular in the beginning of new millennium. Although the philosophical stances of Taylor and Habermas are different, they nevertheless meditated on the similar cultural and political situation they have faced in Europe and North America, that is, the loss of some sort of religious significance and its cultural effect. Among other implications, their thinking would be properly understood without referring to the resurgence of religions in past decades, including the religious/nonreligious conflict or violence around the whole world. Turning to East Asia, should we be bothered by the same issue of secularity with which Charles Taylor and Jürgen Habermas are deeply concerned? Isn’t it a common sense nowadays to say that the dichotomy between the sacred and the secular can only be found in the Judeo-Christian world? If the dichotomy as such is absent in East Asian traditions, should we take it seriously?

Delivered in English
All are welcome