From the Theory Camp discussion of Charles Taylor's A Secular Age.
Taylor ends the book with "Conversions." This was a little disconcerting, as we expected him to offer a more programmatic statement of how to deal with the dilemmas of transcendence and immanence in modernity. Instead he took a few "itineraries" of changed lives as models. In particular, he takes Charles Péguy and Gerard Manley Hopkins as cases. These were not familiar cases to the students, so they did not leap out as helpful models. Nonetheless, Taylor drew a useful story from their lives.
I came to see why he ended with the lives of converts. He made a crucial point at the outset of the book that most people choose their position on the transcendence/immanence (or supernatural/natural) spectrum not because they were convinced by a rational argument, but because they were impressed with some one's or some group's way of living out their convictions. In the end, then, what he needs to show us are the narratives of exemplary people, rather than a philosophical program. And the great advantage of converts' narratives is that they choose one way versus another for a reason. And intellectual converts are most useful of all as examples because they choose one path versus another for a reason that they can articulate, write down, and pass on to others.
Taylor's position - a high-brow orthodox Catholicism - is a sophisticated one, making its way between the horns of several hoary dilemmas. The pool of sophisticated, high-brow, orthodox Catholic converts who left helpful written records of their personal itinerary is rather select. Taylor gives us the best-known people he could find, even if few students know who they are.