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"Integration" in Classical Pragmatist Philosophy of Religion

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Recent scholarship has made a case for the revival and relevance of pragmatist philosophy of religion. In this essay, I build upon that work to argue that ‘integration’—a concept borrowed from Mary Parker Follett—marks an important and underappreciated connection in the pragmatist philosophy of religion of William James, John Dewey, and Josiah Royce. When this common interpretation of "integration" as the essential function of religion is apprehended, it indicates the fundamental orientation of classical pragmatist philosophy of religion. Rather than dwelling upon intellectual-historical debates about who believed what, when, pragmatist philosophy of religion moves forward today by reconstructing this functional understanding of religion-as-integration to address problems with religion in ordinary life, including, for example, the problem of religious pluralism.

Author(s):

Aaron Shepherd    
Emory University
United States

 

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