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Journal of Indian Philosophy and Religion

Volume 23, December 2018

Alok Kumar
Pages 75-104

Naturalism in Religion
Eastern and Western Perspectives as Reflected in Swami Vivekananda and John Dewey's Philosophy

It is not easy to reconcile naturalistic philosophy with religion. However, naturalism can be applied to religion in two ways-either as a methodological approach or as a world view. Two religious thinkers of early 20th century America, Swami Vivekananda, the Hindu spiritual teacher from India and John Dewey, the great American pragmatist, exemplify these two strands of religious naturalism. This paper intends to show how the adoption of a naturalistic outlook towards religion enabled each thinker to interpret their core philosophies, as diverse as Hindu Idealism and American Pragmatism, in a way that appealed to the humanism of the age, thus securing the foundations of religion rather than weakening it.

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