5 January 2017

Pragmatism and Religion: From Classical to Neo

This course will explore a number of questions regarding the mutual influence between the philosophical school known as pragmatism and the religious traditions that form part of its historical context: How do the passions and commitments of pragmatism relate to religious concerns? How does the pragmatic tenet that the meaning and worth of ideas lies in their practical consequences comport with religious forms of life and the understandings of morality they fund? How might its suspicion regarding traditional “supernaturalist” theologies affect the way we wish to think about religion, God, and our place in the world? What have pragmatists suggested are the best ways for religious groups to comport themselves in a democratic society? Finally, how does pragmatism’s emphasis on futurity and experimental flexibility fit with the religious concern to carry forward and pass along an age-old tradition? In exploring various pragmatists’ answers to these questions, this course will explore the potential resources that this philosophical tradition might offer to our contemporary understanding of religious life patterns. In addition to exploring the insights of such "classical" pragmatists as Charles Sanders Pierce, William James, and John Dewey, this course will also focus on the work of such contemporary (or “neo”) pragmatists as Richard Rorty, Jeffrey Stout, and Kevin Hector.

ICS 120501/220501 W17
Dr. Ronald A. Kuipers
Thursday 1:45pm-4:45pm

(MWS, MA, PhD)