Next Article in Journal
The Centrality of Anti-Semitism in the Islamic State’s Ideology and Its Connection to Anti-Shiism
Previous Article in Journal
The Rise of Calvinist Christianity in Urbanising China
Previous Article in Special Issue
Where Is the Money? The Intersectionality of the Spirit World and the Acquisition of Wealth
Open AccessArticle

Teaching Democracy by Teaching Supernaturalism

Centre for Public and Contextual Theology, Charles Sturt University, Canberra 2678, Australia
Religions 2019, 10(8), 482; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10080482
Received: 13 June 2019 / Revised: 23 July 2019 / Accepted: 12 August 2019 / Published: 15 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Magic and Supernaturalism Today)
This paper analyzes critiques of the supernatural by John Dewey, a celebrated American philosopher. Dewey rejected the supernatural on scientific and cosmological grounds, but his most significant critique was made on political grounds. In A Common Faith and other writings, Dewey suggests that supernaturalism erodes democracy by promoting a dualism between religion and science which depreciates the social values that religion originally promoted. Dewey’s claims are contextualized and then tested with reference to teaching supernaturalism in a university classroom. The author explains how the study of magic and supernatural mythologies can address real-world issues, turning attention squarely towards (not away from) history. This paper thus presents a counter-possibility: Can appreciation of the supernatural operate as a catalyst for intercultural learning and social empathy? Examples are given. A discussion of the civic function of wonder follows. View Full-Text
Keywords: supernaturalism; democracy; magic; John Dewey; education; pragmatism; teaching supernaturalism; democracy; magic; John Dewey; education; pragmatism; teaching
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Ghiloni, A.J. Teaching Democracy by Teaching Supernaturalism. Religions 2019, 10, 482.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop