In 2007, Charles Taylor’s landmark book A Secular Age immediately reshaped philosophical and theological approaches to the Enlightenment and modern liberalism. Praised as a monumental achievement, Taylor simultaneously described what it means to live in a post-Christian era, while articulating certain myths about what it means to be secular, or be a part of a secular society (if one even exists).
James K.A. Smith’s How (Not) to Be Secular, serves as a guide to Taylor’s massive study, for scholars and general readers. Or as he likes to say, it’s a “hitchhiker’s guide to the present.” In partnership with Geneva Campus Church.
James K. A. Smith is a professor of philosophy at Calvin College, where he holds the Gary and Henrietta Byker Chair in Applied Reformed Theology and Worldview. Trained as a philosopher with a focus on contemporary French thought, Smith has expanded on that scholarly platform to become an engaged public intellectual and cultural critic. An award-winning author and widely-traveled speaker, he has emerged as a thought leader with a unique gift of translation, building bridges between the academy, society, and the church.
The author of a number of influential books, Smith also regularly writes for magazines and newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Slate, First Things, Christianity Today, Books & Culture, and The Hedgehog Review. He serves as editor-in-chief of Comment Magazine.
He and his wife, Deanna, are elementary school sweethearts with four children in college. Natives of Stratford, Ontario, they lived in Philadelphia and Los Angeles before settling in the Heritage Hill neighborhood of Grand Rapids.