SAAP Annual Meeting 2015

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Pragmatism and Religion: Peirce, Sustaining Grace, and the Sustainable Moral Self

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Exploring the viability of Pragmatist inquiry into modern religious experience, the panel argues for two related though distinctive modes of redemptive experience and engagement with community and creation: a sustainable moral self and a sustaining grace. It examines the challenge of moral transformation and conversion to a sustainable moral character in relation to James, Royce and Peirce. Royce’s moral transformation is interpreted by James away from its grounding in community and loyalty, whereas Charles Peirce’s work offers a more enduring account of shaping a sustainable moral self through interpretation within a loving community, as described in “Evolutionary Love.” The second essay also relies on Peirce’s account of experience as interpretation within community, but with a focus on the habits of grace. Both Raposa’s work on theosemiotic and Neville’s interpretation of religion as ultimacy grounded in community are used to argue for the possibilities of experiencing sustaining grace in our time.


Roger Ward    
Georgetown College
United States

Robert King    
Utah State University
United States


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