Religion as Communal Inquiry

  • Brandon Daniel-Hughes


This concluding chapter focuses on religious interpretive engagement and examines each of the components of religious signs in turn. Section 6.1 explores the material signs of religious communities and introduces a conception of religious participation called “Semiotic Orthodoxy.” Profound communal religious participation entails experimentally inhabiting a tradition’s sign networks, while acknowledging the brokenness of one’s signs for Ultimacy. Section 6.2 addresses the object of religious signs and develops a theory of how such signs might be true despite the vacuity of Ultimacy. They are true only when they yield inquisitive religious interpretants. Section 6.3 examines religious interpretants and argues that the final interpretant of genuinely religious signs is perpetual inquiry. Section 6.4 addresses the didactic role of religious communities and their relationship to Pragmaticism. The best argument for participating in a venerable religious tradition is that it affords opportunities and supports semiotic practices that awaken adepts to the impossibility of adequately signifying Ultimacy. The inevitable failure of all such attempts encourages deeper inquisitive explorations of the wider community of being. Religion is a semiotic and social technology for sustaining communal habits but also a means of generating doubts and perpetuating inquiry.


Semiotic Orthodoxy Brokenness Religious interpretants Pragmaticism Perpetual inquiry 


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brandon Daniel-Hughes
    • 1
  1. 1.John Abbott CollegeSainte-Anne-De-BellevueCanada

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