Being true to who?

In his book The Closing of the American Mind, Allan Bloom describes an outlook on the world which has become very popular. Montreal philosophy professor Charles Taylor summarizes:

“relativism was itself an offshoot of a form of individualism, whose principle is something like this: everyone has a right to develop their own form of life, grounded on their own sense of what is really important or of value. People are called upon to be true to themselves and to seek their own self-fulfillment. What this consists of, each must, in the last instance, determine for him- or herself. No one else can or should try to dictate its content.

“This if a familiar enough position today. It reflects what we could call the individualism of self-fulfillment, which is widespread in our times and has grown particularly strong in Western societies since the 1960s.”*


“Then [Jesus] said to them all: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me’ (Luke 9:23).


–*Charles Taylor, The Malaise of Modernity (Concord: Anansi, 1991), 14.

–Bible quotes are from the NIV.

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