By John Dewey
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The ties binding man to nature that poets have always celebrated are passed over lightly. The attitude taken is often that of man living in an indi√erent and hostile world and issuing blasts of deﬁance. ’’ Traditional Christianity and Cartesian dualism see the human soul or mind as something apart from nature, either transcending it or mastering it through science. This xxix INTRODUCTION alienation has not been helpful in the past and is positively dangerous now as we face the consequences of our ecological negligence and greed.
We re-act against conditions and endeavor to change them to meet our wants and demands. Plays in a foreign language are ‘‘adapted’’ to meet the needs of an American audience. A house is rebuilt 14 RELIGION VERSUS THE RELIGIOUS to suit changed conditions of the household; the telephone is invented to serve the demand for speedy communication at a distance; dry soils are irrigated so that they may bear abundant crops. Instead of accommodating ourselves to conditions, we modify conditions so that they will be accommodated to our wants and purposes.
Alexander, The Human Eros: Eco-Ontology and the Aesthetics of Existence (New York: Fordham University Press, 2013). 10. See Dewey’s review and supporting textual material and discussion in LW 9: 213–22 and 445–56. ) For discussion see Steven C. Rockefeller, John Dewey: Religious Faith and Democratic Humanism (New York: Columbia University Press, 1991), p. : Mercer University Press, 1984). 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.
A Common Faith by John Dewey