If we think of the three levels of human linguistic-communicative activity in its broadest sense: one of bodily habitus and mimicry, one of symbolic expression in art, poetry, music, dance; and one of prose, descriptive language; we can say that aboriginal religious life was mainly couched in the first two, but that the culture which emerges from modern Western Reform has largely abandoned these, and confines itself to the third. In this way, it parallels what modern disengaged reason has done to morality. In both cases, the key is to grasp correct prepositional truth — about God and his Christ in one case, about correct action in the other. In the first case, right worship follows, but the forms that it takes are secondary, and can be varied at will. In the second case, a successful imposition of reason brings about right action, but what this amounts to is to be known purely by reason — either the calculation of utility consequences, or the universalizability of the maxim. In no case, is a paradigm bodily emotion seen as criterial for right action — as in the case of New Testament agape.

An incredibly important, endlessly provocative passage from Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age.