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John Dewey and Emile Durkheim are philosophical giants in the field of moral education. This paper compares and contrasts their respective visions for moral education and contextualizes the comparison in the profound intellectual and social changes modernity was casting throughout the world. They were transitional figures that attempted to make education responsive to those novel conditions and forces. Toward this end, Dewey and Durkheim, though they differed in key areas, articulated the moral sources and authority on which their respective visions for education depended. In as much as the contemporary discourse on moral education lacks this articulation, there is much to be learned from examining their work. Though the current cultural context differs from that of Dewey and Durkheim, their approach to addressing these questions can inform our task in the present.