Last modified on 26 October 2013, at 09:57

Religious naturalism

The interconnectivity of Nature is a key postulate in religious naturalism

Religious Naturalism is a pluralistic paradigm that proposes a spiritual/intellectual approach to life devoid of supernatural assumptions.

  • Religious Naturalism is the view that nature is metaphysically ultimate and that nature or some aspect of nature is religiously ultimate. There is nothing beyond, behind or below nature. Nature requires no explanation beyond itself. It always has existed and always will exist in some shape or form. Its constituents, principles, laws and relationships are the sole reality. This reality takes on new traits and possibilities as it evolves inexorably through time

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  • Dewey's religious naturalism is rooted in a criticism of Santayana's dualism.
    • The Journal of Speculative Philosophy‎ - Page 162, Project Muse - Philosophy - 1995
  • Epic of Evolution is such a story, beautifully suited to anchor our search for planetary consensus, telling us of our nature, our place, our context. Moreover, responses to this story—what we are calling religious naturalism—can yield deep and abiding spiritual experiences.
  • It is true that 'religious naturalism', or the acknowledgment of the Divine in Nature, is also an element of the Christian religion….but it is by no means the characteristic, the tendency of the Christian religion.
  • Religious Naturalism differs from this (naturalism) mainly in the fact that it extends the domain of nature farther outwards into space and time. It never transcends nature
  • Religious naturalism is today one of the outstanding American philosophies of religion
    • H.H. Dubs - Religious Naturalism – an Evaluation (The Journal of Religion, XXIII: 4, October, 1943)
  • Religious Naturalists will be known for their reverence and awe before Nature, their love for Nature and natural forms, their sympathy for all living things, their guilt for enlarging the ecological footprints, their pride in reducing them, their sense of gratitude directed towards the matrix of life, their contempt for those who abstract themselves from natural values, and their solidarity with those who link their self-esteem to sustainable living.
    • Loyal Rue - Religion is not about God, Rutgers University Press, 2005, page 367, ISBN 0813535115
  • (1) there exists a supernatural being(s) or power(s) outside the natural world, (2) this being or power has commerce with the world, and (3) the grounds for belief in both the supernatural being and its commerce cannot be seen, discovered or inferred by way of any known or reliable epistemic method. Note that this commitment to the dispensability of the supernatural does not contain a rejection of all forms of spirituality or religion. The theologians and philosophers who are Religious Naturalists reject the conjunctions of 1,2 and 3 above.
    • Owen J. Flanagan - The Really Hard Problem: Meaning in a Material World, Published by MIT Press, 2007, page 260, ISBN 026206264X, [4]
  • One can start from the perspective of a religious naturalist or from the perspective of the world religions and arrive at the same place: a moral imperative that this Earth and its creatures be respected and cherished.
    • Ursula Goodenough Interview by Jill Neimark] [5]
  • There are two flavors of God people: those whose God is natural and those whose God is supernatural. Certainly there are a lot of people within religious naturalism who have no problem with God language--God as love, God as evolution, God as process. People see God as part of nature and give God-attributes to the part of nature that they find most sacred. I encounter people like that all the time.
    • Ursula Goodenough Interview by Jill Neimark] [6]
  • We try to make ourselves worthy of a universe of which we are an infinitesimal part. We will not agree on what worthiness consists of. For the religious naturalist, it is a mix of cautious skepticism and celebration
    • Chet Raymo – When God is Gone Everything is Holy, page 126


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