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1st Edition

The Philosophy of Reenchantment

Edited By Michiel Meijer, Herbert De Vriese Copyright 2021
    ISBN 9780367612566
    284 Pages
    Published August 1, 2022 by Routledge

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    ISBN 9780367418144
    284 Pages
    Published October 28, 2020 by Routledge

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    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.

    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

    John Cottingham

    3. Might There Be Secular Enchantment?

    Akeel Bilgrami

    Part II, Genealogies of Reenchantment

    4. Did Disenchantment Ever Happen? Retrieving the Forgotten Story of Transcendence

    Guido Vanheeswijck

    5. Theorizing Reenchantment Across Different Value Spheres

    Herbert De Vriese

    6. Reenchantment as Resonance

    Paolo Costa

    Part III. Working with Reenchantment

    7. The Eyes of a Child

    Sophie-Grace Chappell

    8. Nature, Enchantment, and God

    Fiona Ellis

    9. Reenchantment and the Risk of Reification: On Taking Morality (Too) Seriously

    Michiel Meijer

    10. Detachment and Attention

    Rob Compaijen

    11. Moral Absolutes and Neo-Aristotelian Ethical Naturalism

    David McPherson

    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.

    "All in all, this series of essays is an excellent scholarly introduction to this nascent subfield of reenchantment within philosophy of religion. The contributors seem to be mostly moral realists, if not religious. The book raises many important issues and questions as to what reenchantment means and whether the concept itself is reified to the point of adequate engagement."
    -John Mauger, Claremont Graduate University, Nova Religio

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