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By John Dewey

In A universal Faith, eminent American thinker John Dewey demands the “emancipation of the genuine non secular caliber” from the background of dogmatism and supernaturalism that he believes characterizes ancient religions. He describes how the intensity of non secular event and the inventive function of religion within the assets of expertise to generate which means and price may be cultivated with out making cognitive claims that compete with or deal with medical ones. In a brand new advent, Dewey student Thomas M. Alexander contextualizes the textual content for college kids and students by means of delivering an summary of Dewey and his philosophy, key suggestions in A universal Faith, and reactions to the text.

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The determining factor in the interpretation of the experience is the particular doctrinal apparatus into which a person has been inducted. The emotional deposit connected with prior teaching floods the whole situation. It may readily confer upon the experience such a peculiarly sacred preciousness that all inquiry into its causation is barred. The stable outcome is so invaluable that the cause to which it is referred is usually nothing but a reduplication of the thing that has occurred, plus some name that has acquired a deeply emotional quality.

A synopsis of Rockefeller’s views can be found in his essay ‘‘Dewey’s Philosophy of Religious Experi- xxxiv INTRODUCTION ence,’’ in Reading Dewey: Interpretations for a Postmodern Generation, ed. Larry A. Hickman (Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1998), pp. 124–25. 11. ’’ See his The Dynamics of Faith (New York: Harper & Row, 1957), especially chaps. 1 and 6. 12. See Rockefeller, John Dewey, pp. 461–62, 484–85, and 523–24. 13. , ‘‘The Religion of Shared Experience,’’ in Philosophy after Darwin, ed.

This possibility is what I had in mind in speaking of the di√erence between the religious and a religion. I am not proposing a religion, but rather the emancipation of elements and outlooks that may be called religious. For the moment we have a religion, whether that of the Sioux Indian or of Judaism or of Christianity, that moment the ideal factors in experience that may be called religious take on a load that is not inherent in them, a load of current beliefs and of institutional practices that are irrelevant to them.

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