Our mission is to foster the advancement and understanding of the pragmatic and empiricist traditions in American religious thought, as well as the intersections of those traditions with other methodologies, intellectual figures, artistic movements, communities, and issues. This Unit is concerned with critically interrogating, evaluating, and developing the insights and relevance of the pragmatic and empiricist traditions of American thought, broadly construed, for the study of religion and theology, with attention both to the historical interpretation of ideas and contemporary developments within this critical sphere of philosophical and theological reflection. Recent areas of interest include pragmatism and democracy, the continued relevance of empiricism to the revival of pragmatism, multidisciplinary aspects of the tradition (intersections with other fields of inquiry), overlaps with cultural criticism and analyses of gender and race, and the application of pragmatic and empiricist analyses to contemporary problems.
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Pragmatism and Empiricism in American Religious Thought Unit
Call for Proposals
The Pragmatism and Empiricism in American Religious Thought Unit seek papers on the following themes:
Papers on Martin Luther King Jr., including the influence of Boston personalism on this thought, practice, and politics. We also seek papers that underscore the limitations in King's thought regarding gender, sexuality, US exceptionalism, etc.
Papers on functional metaphysics, Boston personalism, and the fraught relationship between pragmatism and metaphysics.
Papers dealing with the State of the field. What is the state of American pragmatism? More specifically what are the current directions in the field regarding race, gender, capital, ecological ethics, etc? What are the possibilities and limitations within the tradition regarding new developments in religious studies, political theology, etc?
Statement of Purpose
Steering Committee Members
Michael Fisher, San Jose State UniversityMember Since: 2018
Tyrone C. Ross, Temple UniversityMember Since: 2018
Jason Springs, University of Notre DameMember Since: 2018
Thurman Willison, Union Theological SeminaryMember Since: 2017