This book presents a philosophical study of the idea of reenchantment and its merits in the interrelated fields of philosophical anthropology, ethics, and ontology. It features chapters from leading contributors to the debate about reenchantment, including Charles Taylor, John Cottingham, Akeel Bilgrami, and Jane Bennett.
The chapters examine neglected and contested notions such as enchantment, transcendence, interpretation, attention, resonance, and the sacred or reverence-worthy—notions that are crucial to human self-understanding but have no place in a scientific worldview. They also explore the significance of adopting a reenchanting perspective for debates on major concepts such as nature, naturalism, God, ontology, and disenchantment. Taken together, they demonstrate that there is much to be gained from working with a more substantial and affirmative concept of reenchantment, understood as a fundamental existential orientation towards what is seen as meaningful and of value.
The Philosophy of Reenchantment will be of interest to scholars and advanced students in philosophy—especially those working in moral philosophy, metaphysics, philosophy of religion, theology, religious studies, and sociology.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Varieties of Reenchantment in a Disenchanted World
Michiel Meijer and Herbert De Vriese
Part I. Reenchantment and (A)Theism
1. What is Reenchantment? An Interview with Charles Taylor
Michiel Meijer and Charles Taylor
2. Religion without Magic: Responding to the Natural World
3. Might There Be Secular Enchantment?
Part II, Genealogies of Reenchantment
4. Did Disenchantment Ever Happen? Retrieving the Forgotten Story of Transcendence
5. Theorizing Reenchantment Across Different Value Spheres
Herbert De Vriese
6. Reenchantment as Resonance
Part III. Working with Reenchantment
7. The Eyes of a Child
8. Nature, Enchantment, and God
9. Reenchantment and the Risk of Reification: On Taking Morality (Too) Seriously
10. Detachment and Attention
11. Moral Absolutes and Neo-Aristotelian Ethical Naturalism
Epilogue: On the Call from Outside
Jane Bennett and Akeel Bilgrami
Michiel Meijer is postdoctoral researcher of the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO) in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Antwerp. He is the author of Charles Taylor’s Doctrine of Strong Evaluation (2017) and has published widely on subjects such as moral value, human agency, moral epistemology, moral ontology, moral phenomenology, and moral psychology in the fields of metaethics, normative ethics, and social theory.
Herbert De Vriese is Assistant Professor at the Center for European Philosophy of the University of Antwerp. His work focuses on secularization, critique of religion, and disenchantment in general, and the role of philosophical theory and critique in historical and sociological debates on (the end of) classical secularization theory, postsecularism, and classical narratives of disenchantment in particular.