Prof Charles Taylor to deliver Gifford Lecture on secularist regimes

World-renowned philosopher Professor Charles Taylor will discuss The Necessity of Secularist Regimes at the Gifford Lecture at the University of Glasgow on May 21.

Secularist regimes are the subject of vigorous debate in many countries: France, USA, Turkey, India and others and this lecture will ask: What are the defining features of secularism?

Prof Taylor said: “Very often we reach for some institutional definition, like 'the separation of church and state', or 'neutrality of the state.' But in fact, we need to define better the goals or values we are trying to foster or defend by these institutions. The centre of gravity of secularist regimes is changing in our day, and this is a positive development.”

Professor Charles Taylor is currently the Board of Trustees Professor of Law and Philosophy at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.  He is also professor emeritus at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. He also serves as Contributing Editor to the journal Public Culture. In June 2008, he was awarded the Kyoto Prize in the category of arts and philosophy.

The lecture, which is open to the public, takes place in the Sir Charles Wilson Theatre. To register contact Angela Hair on 0141 330 3593 or email

First published: 20 May 2009

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