Decolonizing Religion: Pragmatism and Latina/o Religious Experience

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Fordham University Press


In this chapter, Christopher Tirres documents the extensive and long-established engagement by Latina/o scholars of the United States-grown philosophical tradition known as pragmatism. Tirres aims to show how both James and Dewey can provide us with some tools to engage the religious experience of Latinas/os productively and approvingly. At the same time, the Latina/o experience raises a series of challenges for pragmatism as a distinct U.S. philosophical tradition that has yet to be engaged seriously by the mainstream. Tirres argues that Latina/o reflections on the ineradicable social dimension of faith and religious practice can be a major corrective to the subjectivistic and individualistic appreciation of religion that is found in pragmatist classical thinkers, such as Dewey and James. Tirres's advocacy for a Latina/o appropriation of pragmatism is predicated on the argument that it provides epistemic tools that can be judiciously and productively used in the project of decolonizing religion as a by-product of the decolonization of epistemology.

Chapter of

Decolonizing Epistemologies


Ada María Isasi-Díaz
Eduardo Mendieta