Ninety years ago, John Dewey’s discussion of “the religious”—as distinct from traditional “religion”—opened new ways of thinking about the connection between spirituality and everyday forms of human action. But in what ways does our contemporary religious landscape invite us to reimagine and reconstruct Deweyan approaches to religion? This essay addresses this question by focusing on how the community of El Paso, Texas came together to respond to one of the worst racially motivated mass shootings in recent history. This community’s use of spirituality, art, and institutional religion all corroborate key Deweyan insights and invite us to stretch them further.

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Available for download on Monday, October 05, 2026