Religious Naturalism Today

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Religious Naturalism Today

By Jerome A. Stone

Publisher: State University of New York Press 2008 259 Pages

ISBN: 0791475379


In Religious Naturalism Today, Jerome Stone has accomplished several things at one and the same time. His subtitle points straightforwardly to the most obvious—the author has provided an enormously useful and detailed map of what he considers to be a “forgotten” religious alternative. In his sketches—some lengthy, some very brief—he brings several dozen thinkers to our attention, interprets their contributions, and assures the future of this work as an indispensable vademecum for religious naturalism. In this respect, this book serves as a kind of Baedeker, a guide for visitors to a region of mind and spirit that while it is strange to most

readers, is beloved for others.

There is more to Stone’s achievement in this volume: nature and naturalism are for us today urgent subjects for religious refl ection. If we recount the ways in which the last two centuries of scientifi c knowledge have impacted our lives, what will top the list? The recognition that

nature is constitutive of who and what we are as human beings. Whether or not we believe that there is something more, nature is so signifi cant that all our beliefs must be reformulated so as to take nature into account.

Whether it is our view of the world, our image of ourselves, or our beliefs about God - everything must be rethought in response to our knowledge of how deeply we are rooted in natural processes. Science has reimaged nature for us in ways so profound that we still have yet to take its measure. We know that nature is no longer “out there” or “over against us.” It is deeply within us; nature is who we are.


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