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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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The Social Dimensions of Faith

The Social Dimensions of Faith

Expanding John Dewey’s Sense of Community and Custom

Chapter:
(p.129) 6 The Social Dimensions of Faith
Source:
The Aesthetics and Ethics of Faith
Author(s):

Christopher D. Tirres

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199352531.003.0006

This chapter explores a puzzling paradox: whereas in most of his works, John Dewey acknowledges that social practices -- even customary and unreflective ones -- may give rise to more reflective and intelligent modes of discourse, Dewey remains highly suspicious of religion as a form of social practice in A Common Faith. This chapter draws on a variety of Dewey’s own resources -- found largely outside of A Common Faith -- in order to show how differently Dewey could have approached the question of the social dimensions of faith in A Common Faith. This chapter, which lays the groundwork for the next, explores Dewey’s understanding of community. It looks at key works such as Ethics (1908, 1932), Human Nature and Conduct (1922), Democracy and Education (1916) and Experience and Education (1938), among others. The author argues that A Common Faith could have been substantially more nuanced on the question of the social dimensions of faith had Dewey actually drawn on the core assumptions of these other texts.

Keywords:   Dewey, community, A Common Faith, Ethics, Human Nature and Conduct, Democracy and Education, Experience and Education, habit, custom

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