In The malaise of modernity (1992), Charles Taylor speaks of the cult of authenticity

The Malaise of Modernity (1992)

In The Malaise of Modernity (1992), Charles Taylor speaks of the cult of authenticity.

A blurb for Taylor’s book at the Toronto Public Library site notes:

“In Malaise of Modernity, Charles Taylor focuses on the key modern concept of self-fulfillment, often attacked as the central support of what Christopher Lasch has called the culture of narcissism. To Taylor, self-fulfillment, although often expressed in self-centered ways, isn’t necessarily a rejection of traditional values and social commitment; it also reflects something authentic and valuable in modern culture. Only by distinguishing what is good in this modern striving from what is socially and politically dangerous, Taylor says, can our age be made to deliver its promise.”

The authenticity hoax (2010)

The authenticity hoax (2010) is a book that I encountered after reading an article by Andrew Potter in the June 7, 2013 Ottawa Citizen.

The article, which you can access at the link in the previous sentence, is entitled “Why Rob Ford is the Amy Winehouse of Canadian politics.”

The blurb at the Toronto Public website for The authenticity hoax: How we get lost finding ourselves (2010) reads:

‘We live in a world increasingly dominated by the fake, the prepackaged, the artificial: fast food, scripted reality TV shows, Facebook ‘friends,’ and fraudulent memoirs. But people everywhere are demanding the exact opposite, heralding ‘authenticity’ as the cure for isolated individualism and shallow consumerism. Restaurants promote the authenticity of their cuisine, while condo developers promote authentic loft living and book reviewers regularly praise the authenticity of a new writer’s voice.

“International bestselling author Andrew Potter brilliantly unpacks our modern obsession with authenticity. In this perceptive and thought-provoking blend of pop culture, history, and philosophy, he finds that far from serving as a refuge from modern living, the search for authenticity often creates the very problems it’s meant to solve.”

Apprenticed to spirit (2011)

In Apprenticed to spirit: The education of a soul (2011), David Spangler shares the view that it’s not valuable to denigrate one’s personality, as if the possession of a personality detracts a from a person’s spiritual development.


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