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The Aesthetics and Ethics of FaithA Dialogue Between Liberationist and Pragmatic Thought$
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Christopher D. Tirres

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199352531

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199352531.001.0001

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Pragmatism and Latino/a Religious Experience

Pragmatism and Latino/a Religious Experience

Chapter:
(p.83) 4 Pragmatism and Latino/a Religious Experience
Source:
The Aesthetics and Ethics of Faith
Author(s):

Christopher D. Tirres

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199352531.003.0004

The colonization of indigenous peoples of the Americas has often involved the introduction of problematic Western dualisms between body and mind, spirit and flesh, life and death, and the sacred and the secular. This chapter discusses how U.S. Latino/a theologians and scholars of religion have attempted to overcome such dualisms, and it argues that pragmatism may be a useful ally in furthering this effort. In particular, the author looks at the ways in which pragmatism helps to integrate the aesthetic and ethical dimensions of faith, which, in the colonial mythos, are often considered to be two different “types” of religious experience. In contrast, pragmatism approaches both as qualities of experience, and it helps us to see how these qualities interrelate and change dynamically in experience. At the same time, this chapter also shows how contemporary approaches to Latino/a religion help to strengthen pragmatic approaches to faith where they are often at their weakest. This chapter includes a helpful overview on the meaning of pragmatism and a discussion of its engagement with questions of religious faith. These topics are then reframed in terms of contemporary liberationist discourse.

Keywords:   pragmatism, religion, Latino religion, liberation theology, Latino theology, James, Dewey, A Common Faith

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