By John Dewey

In A universal Faith, eminent American thinker John Dewey demands the “emancipation of the real spiritual caliber” from the history of dogmatism and supernaturalism that he believes characterizes historic religions. He describes how the intensity of spiritual event and the artistic function of religion within the assets of expertise to generate that means and cost will be cultivated with out making cognitive claims that compete with or take care of medical ones. In a brand new creation, Dewey pupil Thomas M. Alexander contextualizes the textual content for college students and students through offering an summary of Dewey and his philosophy, key ideas in A universal Faith, and reactions to the text.

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14. Many religions, however, are not defined by beliefs or dogmas. Joseph Campbell, a scholar of world religions, told the story of a Westerner asking a Japanese Shinto priest what his ‘‘theology’’ was. The priest looked puzzled and replied, ‘‘We don’t have a theology. ’’ See Stephen and Robin Larsen, A Fire in the Mind: A Life of Joseph Campbell (New York: Anchor Books, 1991), p. 438. 15. Max Eastman, ‘‘John Dewey,’’ Atlantic 168, no. 6 (December 1941), p. 673. See discussion in Rockefeller, John Dewey, pp.

It is dispersive and withdrawing. Most religions have in fact added rites of communion to those of expiation and propitiation. For our dependence is manifested in those relations to the environment that support our undertakings and aspirations as much as it is in the defeats inflicted upon us. The essentially unreligious attitude is that which attributes human achievement and purpose to man in isolation from the world of physical nature and his fellows. Our successes are dependent upon the cooperation of nature.

It is regarded as a view entertained from mere tendermindedness, as an emotional hangover from childhood indoctrination, or even as a manifestation of a desire to avoid disapproval and curry favor. The heart of my point, as far as I shall develop it in this first section, is that there is a di√erence between religion, a religion, and the religious; between anything that may be denoted by a noun substantive and the quality of experience that is designated by an adjective. It is not easy to find a definition of religion in the substantive sense that wins general acceptance.

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