Brad Gregory’s The Unintended Reformation is an expansively ambitious work. Indeed, its aim is to provide nothing less than an “explanation of why the Western world today is as it is.” In this regard it sits comfortably alongside Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age, with whose neo-Thomist structure, content, and purpose it has much in common. Both writers mix their Thomism with Hegelianism, treating the secular world as the form in which man confronts his own alienated or sublimated religious impulse. Lying behind this philosophical-historical theory of secularization is a conception of the world as the space in which its transcendent creator manifests himself sacramentallyRead the rest of The return of sacred history.
Ian Hunter is an emeritus professor in the Centre for the History of European Discourses at the University of Queensland. He is the author of several studies dealing with early modern German political, philosophical, and religious thought, including Rival Enlightenments (2001) and The Secularisation of the Confessional State (2007).