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Raymo (professor emeritus, Stonehill Coll.; Honey from Stone), a former science columnist, is one of the most articulate and subtly elegant contemporary writers on science and spirit. Here, he offers a new kind of spirituality in the light of empirical science, writing candidly of his Catholic upbringing and his current agnosticism, poised "in the portal between knowledge and mystery, between the commonplace and the divine." He draws on sources ranging from Sigrid Undest to Saint-Exupéry to depict a wonder-filled religious naturalism. In an environment characterized by the strident antireligionism of such writers as Christopher Hitchens, Raymo's eloquence should win many readers. Highly recommended. --Graham Christian, Library Journal, October 1, 2008
Chet Raymo's weekly column "Science Musings" appeared in the Boston Globe for 20 years and is now online at Sciencemusings.com. He is Professor Emeritus at Stonehill College in North Easton, Massachusetts, and author of 12 books including Natural Prayers. In this rigorous and wonder-filled paperback, Raymo describes his "late-life credo," which is a mystical brand of Catholicism. As an elder, he confesses that "faith no longer matters to me so much as attention, wonder, celebration, praise."
In this approach, Raymo takes a cue from the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, the Jesuit priest who loved the natural world and saw it shot through with "the grandeur of God." As a religious naturalist, the author delves into the mystery of the universe and finds "glimmers of the Absolute in every particular." He states that "I don't know" may be science's most important contribution to human civilization. But even though this appreciation of mystery is also the realm of the mystics, the war between science and religion continues. Raymo makes reference to the attacks on religion by what he calls "militant slash-and-burn" atheists. Instead of turning to these God-debunkers or to God-clingers, the author relishes the religious naturalism of the Dominican friar Meister Eckhart.
He concludes that any religion worthy of humankind's future will be ecumenical, ecological, and embrace the scientific story of the world as the most reliable cosmology. He might also have added to the mix the spiritual practice of wonder. When God Is Gone, Everything Is Holy beckons us to wonder in the presence of an enchanted universe infused with mystery. --Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, SpiritualityandPractice.com, October, 2008
Chet Raymo has enriched and graced our lives with this wonderfulbook, steeped in wisdom, warmth, and clarity. A classic.
Author of The Sacred Depths of Nature
Piercing, funny, brilliant, transcendent, angry, eloquent. One of the nation's finest naturalists and writers pours out his heart on the roaring prayer of Everything That Is and the idiocy of arguing over labels and possession of that which is beyond our ken but not our celebration and singing, which is what Raymo does with stunning power and passion.
Author of The Wet Engine
This is a magnificent book, but not one for the faint of heart. In an age of militant atheists and strident believers, Chet Raymo dares to stand, where mystics and philosophers have always stood, in the place of mystery.
Douglas Burton-Christie, PhD
Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles
Raymo reminds us that human consciousness is plenty big enough to accommodate both science and a sense of the holy.
Author of A Dynamic God
Raymo lays out his spiritual beliefs based upon his life's experience and not on what we are told to believe. Read morePublished 3 months ago by thomas a. harig
Chet Raymo, now retired from teaching in a college, provides a provocative and fresh approach to religion and science. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Wallace Kaufman
I had trouble getting immersed in this book. However, the premise is one that I've always believed. Even as a scientist, I've felt that science has fallen short of really knowing... Read morePublished on April 5, 2013 by Phil in MIdland
Even if you don't subscribe to all his viewpoints, Chet Raymo is a very articulate and engaging writer. Read morePublished on December 16, 2012 by C. R. Michaud
Chet Raymo takes on a great many weighty subjects in his relatively small book, When God is Gone Everything is Holy: The Making of a Religious Naturalist. Read morePublished on June 5, 2012 by Eric Maroney
I will concede that the author makes some interesting points and, as other reviewers have aptly expressed, he makes those points with some beautifully written prose. Read morePublished on October 21, 2011 by chilemery
Raymo has given us an insightful and beautifully written book about religious naturalism, a religious perspective that is becoming more and more highly regarded. Read morePublished on July 9, 2010 by noeton
If you, like Raymo struggle through the known natural world and what seems like the unknown Divine than you must read this book.Published on July 3, 2010 by jjd1946
Upon reviewing my vine purchases, I realized I had never reviewed this book. The reason is I completely lost interest in it and couldn't finish it. Read morePublished on April 15, 2010 by Kevin C