Welcome to Religious Naturalism! As briefly defined in Wikipedia, Religious Naturalism is a form of naturalism that endorses human religious responses and value commitments within a naturalistic framework. We invite you to brouse awhile and learn about a consilience of science and religion that is an emerging paradigm of rationality with feelings.
Introduction & Overview
The purpose of this website is to flesh out that definition, expand it, and share the perspectives of specific Religious Naturalists. We believe Religious Naturalism is an emergence of an idea whose time has come. We hope you will agree, even to the extent that you decide to self-identify as a Religious Naturalist yourself and ask to be included on our tally of Religious Naturalists.
As you will find, there is a lot of diversity among Religious Naturalists. It is probably fair to say that virtually all of us find meaning, joy, and value in the natural world. We trust our own experience at interpreting that world but realize that our experience can also lead us astray. We therefore look especially to science to resolve differences of opinion in understanding and interpreting the natural world. A consilient understanding of our place within the natural world is pursued as we strive to protect and enrich our home on earth.
The spirituality of Religious Naturalism (spiritual naturalism) includes the idea of a sound emotional life. It also includes the well-winnowed wisdom and morality that have emerged within human cultures over the ages. We don't take traditional wisdom at face value, however, but explore it in the context of social processes, reason, and the aesthetic insights supplied by art, music and literature.
We sense and appreciate an essence, a grandeur and a magnificence in Nature, in which we take great joy. We are awed by its vastness and complexity. We revere these qualities but do not worship them. Nature is the interrelated conditions and processes for our emergence as living and thinking beings. We respect this context and are committed to an environmental ethic that honors it.
Religious Naturalism hopes to help create a consilience of viewpoints along the lines above, that are accessible to anyone in the world from any culture. As a group of diverse individuals, we may differ on how this is best accomplished, but we are committed to reaching that destination. We may use different words or connotations to express our religious sensibilities but we share our naturalistic orientation. We will present more about our diversity and commonalities in the Big Tent Booths featured in the Perspectives page. Opinions of individual RNs are presented there. They are a must read before leaving.
Those that join us need not buy into all we propose, but are free to share in our sense of the oneness of humanity and the natural world. The following pages on RN goals, tenets, ecological resolves and morality will help you make that determination. Our Bibliography lists the wide range of books covering Religious Naturalism. The next page is Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) which will perhaps cut to the chase on some things you may be wondering about.