As advances in science have changed the ways we see ourselves and our world, approaches to religion have changed. For those who have a naturalist sense of what seems possible and real, religious naturalism (RN) gives ways of considering the mystery, order, and beauty in the world and exploring the spiritual part of ourselves.
This site covers topics that have long been considered by religions, but are looked at with different eyes with a naturalist view. It includes links to additional information and ideas, and links to some of the workings and wonders of the natural world. Check the menu options to see more.
Featured author: Donald Crosby
“This nature to which we intimately belong –
a nature that sustains, renews, and inspires in countless ways –
can command our wholehearted religious commitment.”
Donald Crosby is a philosopher whose work provides a solid intellectual grounding for religious naturalism. In A Religion of Nature, he explains the view that nature is all that is real, and that nature can be a focus of religious orientation. In this, and in other books and articles, he examines challenges and opportunities that come with this view – in how values may be envisioned, the relation of humans to other creatures, and how aspects of nature may serve as symbols. For example, . . . <continue reading . . .>
Featured topic: Religious naturalism and mindfulness
“My suggestion for religious naturalism’s ethical framework
is the cultivation of a scientifically informed mindfulness
as a novel hybrid of meditation/introspection and empirical investigation.”
Mindfulness is a state of awareness, with active attention to and appreciation of the present.
In Buddhist tradition, mindfulness may be a path toward enlightenment.
As is discussed in an essay by Michael Barrett, in religious naturalism, mindfulness, for some, may be a way of describing the type of awareness and appreciation that can prompt a sense of reverence in our relation to the natural world. . . <click here to go to the Mindfulness page . . .>
Featured artist: Andy Goldsworthy
“ . . . when I worked with nature, I began to get a feeling for nature.
And, nature is the most important thing we have.”
Andy Goldsworthy is a British artist who creates art as responses to aspects of the natural world. He uses natural materials in natural settings, with the expectation that works will be short-lived. One goal is to understand nature by directly participating in nature as intimately as he can.
“So, the intention with work like this is that I really don’t know what I’m going to do.
It’s about looking and learning and feeling, responding to the day, the material,
and trying to understand a little bit about that day, that material, that place, that moment.”
Those who are interested can see more can view a small gallery of photos of his work and a collection and YouTube films, including Land Art and an excerpt from Rivers and Tides, that show him creating and discussing his work.
For a direct link to the website of the
Religious Naturalist Association
Photo: Pauline Rosenberg