The Aesthetics and Ethics of Faith: A Dialogue Between Liberationist and Pragmatic Thought
The Aesthetics and Ethics of Faith: A Dialogue Between Liberationist and Pragmatic Thought  -     By: Christopher D. Tirres
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Oxford University Press / 2014 / Hardcover
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The Aesthetics and Ethics of Faith: A Dialogue Between Liberationist and Pragmatic Thought

Oxford University Press / 2014 / Hardcover

In Stock
Stock No: WW352531


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* A groundbreaking study that builds bridges between liberationist thought and pragmatism. Beginning with a set of actual experiences---the Good Friday liturgies at San Antonio's San Fernando Cathedral---Tirres shows ways in which these religious rituals integrate the aesthetic and ethical dimensions of faith. Subsequent chapters explore this synthesis at the experience/metaphysical, social, and pedagogical levels. 240 pages, hardcover from Oxford University.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 240
Vendor: Oxford University Press
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 9.25 X 6.13 (inches)
ISBN: 0199352534
ISBN-13: 9780199352531
Series: AAR Reflection and Theory in the Study of Religion

Publisher's Description

What is the future of liberation thought in the Americas? In this groundbreaking work, Christopher D. Tirres takes up this question by looking at the methodological connections between two quintessentially American traditions: liberation theology and pragmatism. He explains how pragmatism lends philosophical clarity and depth to some of liberation theology's core ideas and assumptions. Liberation theology in turn offers pragmatism a more nuanced and sympathetic approach to religious faith, especially its social and pedagogical dimensions. Ultimately, Tirres crafts a philosophical foundation that ensures the continued relevance of liberation thought in today's world.

Keeping true to the method of pragmatism, the book begins inductively with a set of actual experiences-- the Good Friday liturgies at the San Fernando Cathedral in San Antonio, Texas-- and provides a compelling description of the way these performative rituals integrate the aesthetic and ethical dimensions of faith. Subsequent chapters probe this integration deductively at three levels of theoretical analysis: experience/metaphysics, sociality, and pedagogy. As Tirres shows, the aesthetic and ethical dimensions of faith emerge in different yet related ways at all three levels. He argues that utilizing the categories of the aesthetic and ethical enables a richer understanding of the dynamic relationship between faith and politics.

This book builds new bridges between a number of discourses and key figures, and will be of interest to all who are interested in the liberatory potential of engaged faith praxis, especially when it is expressed in the form of religious ritual.

Author Bio


Christopher D. Tirres is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at DePaul University. He is a native of El Paso, TX and a graduate of Princeton University, Harvard Divinity School, and Harvard University.

Editorial Reviews


"In his ambitious and carefully argued book, Tirres seeks to develop deeper methodological and philosophical foundations for the type of 'integral liberation' that liberation theology has always envisioned.... [Tirres] gives a remarkably clear and accessible account of the underlying epistemology and philosophical method of US pragmatism.... [He] successfully articulates one of the most complicated and important contemporary challenges facing Hispanic Latino/a theology, and proposes a clear and constructive proposal in response.... As such, the book should be of interest to both students and seasoned scholars attempting to interpret theology, spirituality, and philosophy in a North American cultural context."--Theological Studies


"[The Aesthetics and Ethics of Faith] displays the moving mind of a theologian to watch in the future."--American Journal of Theology and Philosophy


"[This] book provides a very useful service in bringing together two currents of thought, both valuable in themselves, that seldom interact."--The Heythrop Journal


"The Aesthetics and Ethics of Faith admirably advances the significant conversation in liberationist thought and pastoral praxis about the relation between beauty and justice. Tirres has laid a solid foundation for what this reviewer hopes will be his ongoing exploration of this vital theme and, above all, for his continuing scholarly investigations in religion and theology that bring important thinkers from across the American hemisphere into critical and mutually enriching conversation." --Journal of the American Academy of Religion


"The thoroughness and clarity of Tirres's work makes this a generative project that provokes a set of constructive questions." --KU Leuven Theology Newsletter


"This volume's abundant insights on Latin American liberation and U.S. Latino/a theologies and on John Dewey's philosophy of pragmatism are reason enough to recommend it enthusiastically. Even more: the book brings these important schools of thought into conversation, transforming our understanding of the relationship between the aesthetic and the ethical dimensions of religious faith. Tirres's outstanding scholarly achievement merits wide consideration." --Timothy Matovina, University of Notre Dame


"By placing liberation theology and pragmatism in dialogue with each other, Christopher Tirres recreates both traditions by attending to the unity of aesthetics and ethics in each. In a remarkably creative twist, Tirres re-imagines Dewey's philosophy of religion by relying on aspects of Dewey's own aesthetics and theory of education. This is an impressive work, grounded in both meaningful ethnography and astute philosophical analysis." --Jim Garrison, author of Dewey and Eros


"Proclamations of the death of liberation theologies will be silenced with Tirres's provocative text. The Aesthetics and Ethics of Faith initiates a conversation between North American pragmatism, aesthetics, liberation theology, and ethnography with an eye towards the future of liberation theology in the twenty-first century. Tirres's integral understanding of liberation as aesthetic and ethical is the foundation for a liberation theology that resonates across the Americas." --Michelle A. Gonzalez, University of Miami


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