n Missionalia : Southern African Journal of Mission Studies - Authentic faith in a "secular age'' : McCarthy and Lonergan on the dialectic between sacralisation and secularisation

Volume 40, Issue 1_2
  • ISSN : 0256-9507



The paper argues that the relationship between secularisation and sacralisation has to be understood dialectically. We have to accept the ''intellectual irreversibility of the Enlightenment'', for the secular is here to stay. But also religion is not going away. Hence, we have to struggle to live authentically in a complex ambiguous situation, with a plurality of faiths and secularisms. The key questions to be considered are: (a) What is meant by ''the secular age''? (b) How did we arrive at this secular age? (c) How do we respond authentically to this secular age? Following Lonergan, I argue that (a) there is a secularism to be welcomed, as well as a secularism to be resisted, and (b) there is a sacralisation to be discarded, as well as a sacralisation to be fostered.

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