Praise for the previous edition:
Retelling the history of Western modernity, Taylor traces the development of a distinct social imaginary. Animated by the idea of a moral order based on the mutual benefit of equal participants, the Western social imaginary is characterized by three key cultural forms—the economy, the public sphere, and self-governance. Taylor’s account of these cultural formations provides a fresh perspective on how to read the specifics of Western modernity: how we came to imagine society primarily as an economy for exchanging goods and services to promote mutual prosperity, how we began to imagine the public sphere as a metaphorical place for deliberation and discussion among strangers on issues of mutual concern, and how we invented the idea of a self-governing people capable of secular “founding” acts without recourse to transcendent principles. Accessible in length and style, Modern Social Imaginaries offers a clear and concise framework for understanding the structure of modern life in the West and the different forms modernity has taken around the world.
Illich's view, which could be summed up as the corruption of the best is the worst, is that Jesus' call to love more abundantly became the basis for new forms of power in the hands of those who organized and administered this New Testament. Illich also explores the invention of technology, the road from hospitality to the hospital, the criminalization of sin, the church as the template of the modern state, and the death of nature. Illich's analysis of contemporary society as a congealed and corrupted Christianity is both a bold historical hypothesis and a call to believers to re-invent the Christian church.
With a foreword by Charles Taylor.
Ivan Illich (1926-2002) was a brilliant polymath, an iconoclastic thinker, and a prolific writer. He was a priest, vice-rector of a university, founder of the Centre for Intercultural Documentation in Cuernavaca, Mexico, and author of numerous books, including Deschooling Society, Tools for Conviviality, Energy and Equity, and Medical Nemesis.