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The Promise of Religious Naturalism Hardcover – September 16, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 284 pages
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (September 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0742562611
  • ISBN-13: 978-0742562615
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,289,595 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

The Promise of Religious Naturalism has binocular vision: (1) it offers readers a searching comparative study of several of the leading contemporary exponents of religious naturalism, and (2) it tests the very notion of religious naturalism for its ability to support religious inclinations and moral imperatives in a time of social and ecological disarray. (Journal of Theology and Philosophy)

Hogue takes important steps in [the various concepts of transcendence] here. (International Journal for Philosophy of Religion)

Michael Hogue promises and delivers an appreciative yet critical reading of this movement....It is extraordinary to behold this combination of academic rigor and existential vibrancy. In the end, this may be the lasting contribution of this book: it consistently unites measured passion with scholarly expertise and refuses to subordi- nate one to the other—and that is truly rare. (The Journal Of Religion)

Michael Hogue’s assessment of The Promise of Religious Naturalism is especially valuable because it embodies a “critical appreciation” of various responses. His book invites further consideration of various concepts of transcendence, as well as of the many possible “worlds”—some deeply mysterious—that naturalists can discern within this one natural reality. I am intrigued by his brilliantly suggestive rendering of “religion” as an attentive and transactive “reading again and again”. It resonates with Goodenough’s portrayal of the practice of mindfulness as a semiotic exercise, that is, as a development of our awareness that things in nature can mean “something more” than what a narrowly scientistic view would reduce them to being. Workable solutions to the ethical questions that Hogue raises in this book may require the glimpse of transcendence that such a reading can provide, not a window onto the supernatural, but a penetrating vision of this Jamesian “more” that shapes our deepest human experience of the natural world. (Springer)

Michael S. Hogue, who is now an Associate Professor of Theology at the dominantly Unitarian Universalist Meadville Lombard Theological School, published [a] valuable book in the broad area of science, ethics, and religion. . . . The Promise of Religious Naturalism in 2010. (Tradition and Discovery)

Michael Hogue's The Promise of Religious Naturalism is an ambitious attempt to defend a naturalistic approach to religion. ... Hogue is. . . successful in describing the content of religious naturalism in his analysis. ... The book is very strong in exhibiting the promise of a religiously naturalistic viewpoint, both in the depth of Hogue's own exposition of the points of view of his four thinkers and in the articulation of his own naturalistic viewpoint. ... He skillfully shows that rich forms of religious naturalism are being developed today. His work demonstrates that there truly is a promise of religious naturalism today that goes well beyond nineteenth- and twentieth-century versions. The reason is that these positions, including Hogue's, bring a depth of philosophical and theological sophistication to bear on religiously naturalistic viewpoints that was largely lacking in the earlier period. This is a very good book, and Michael Hogue is to be commended for it.
(Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science)

Michael Hogue's The Promise of Religious Naturalism is an incisive diagnosis of two of the most pressing challenges facing humankind, religious change and ecological vulnerability. Not only does Hogue delineate, with power and passion, the scope of the challenges that we face at this moment in history, but he brings to our awareness an emerging resource, a new and vital form of religious ethics that can help us live into these challenges with integrity, rigor and creativity. In this eloquent and erudite book, Hogue makes a compelling case that religious naturalism is a complex form of religious ethics that can help us see the ways in which religious change generates new possibilities for addressing immense ecological moral challenges. This book is a gift to the heart, mind and imagination, an invitation to a morally responsive life of seeing clearly, thinking critically, and acting boldly. (Sharon Welch, provost at Meadville Lombard Theological School)

Michael Hogue has given us a philosophically sophisticated, historically insightful, and rhetorically lucid appraisal of the emergent phenomenon of religious naturalism. An indispensable guide, The Promise of Religious Naturalism represents constructive intellectual criticism at its very best. (Loyal Rue, Luther College)

With enviable historical and philosophical learning, Hogue identifies religious naturalism as a live religious option today and as a theoretical approach to the understanding of religion. This will be one of the most widely cited studies in the field of religious studies in the next decade. (Robert Cummings Neville, professor of Philosophy, Religion, and Theology, Boston University and author of Realism in Religion and Religion in Late Modern)

Michael Hogue's new book is well timed and exceptionally useful. Religious naturalism is on the rise and there is no more theologically perceptive analyst of its variations and ethical implications than Hogue. If you are looking for a book from an expert guide to help you chart the territory of religious naturalism, look no further. (Wesley J. Wildman, Professor of Philosophy, Theology, and Ethics, Boston University School of Theology)

About the Author

Michael S. Hogue is associate professor of theology at Meadville Lombard Theological Seminary. He is the winner of the 2008 Templeton Award for Theological Promise.

More About the Author

Dr. Michael S. Hogue is Associate Professor of Theology at Meadville Lombard Theological School (Unitarian Universalist), in Chicago, IL. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago (2005) and received a John Templeton Award for his first book, The Tangled Bank: Towards an Ecotheological Ethic of Responsible Participation (2008). He is currently working on a new book developing a political theology of religious naturalism. He holds leadership positions in the American Academy of Religion and the Institute for American Religious and Philosophical Thought. As an activist, he is dedicated to working on issues of ecological justice and the climate crisis.

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Rex Styzens on April 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Who says there's nothing new under the sun? The old war between religion and science is being replaced by a partnership. It calls itself "religious naturalism." Is it new? Or just one more attempt to paste a happy face over the conflict? Naturalism traces its roots back to the ancient Greek materialists of 2500 years ago. Democritus' concept of the atom still holds. Few dared to suggest then that the gods be ignored, but that was then. Can science find its way to the sacred? And can the Good stand out amid those busy taming nature?

The biblical story of the creator God regards nature as the creature. That distinction between creator and creature, between God and nature, remains the most familiar form of religious orthodoxy in the West. Worshipful attention to any but the one God becomes heresy. Hogue indicates several times along the way (in extended commentaries on the works of Donald Crosby A Religion of Nature, Ursula Goodenough The Sacred Depths of Nature, Jerome A. Stone Religious Naturalism Today: The Rebirth of a Forgotten Alternative, and Loyal Rue Religion Is Not About God: How Spiritual Traditions Nurture our Biological Nature and What to Expect When They Fail) that world religions provide examples of naturalism that are ancient and well-established religions--forms of Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, and others.
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