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Religious Naturalism Today: The Rebirth of a Forgotten Alternative Hardcover – December 18, 2008

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Stone s book offers landscape as well as portrait, for behind the particular figures in focus there is a wide range of religious naturalisms depicted in clear perspective and considerable depth of field. As theologian Philip Hefner observes in the foreword, Stone is an expert guide and companion to this broader landscape Stone s latest book belongs on any current reading list in religious naturalism and would make a fine centerpiece for an academic course or a book group on the subject. American Journal of Theology and Philosophy
Stone has pointed toward religious naturalism s connections to and critiques of other types of religious scholarship. He opens possibilities for dialogue with the work of thinkers in many fields, including religious humanism and ecology, along with the ethical questions these fields raise. Stone s work is an excellent introduction to the renewal of religious naturalism that invites the reader to join the discussion. Religious Studies Review
The strength of Religious Naturalism Today is its descriptions of early religious naturalists. CHOICE
This is a timely contribution to contemporary theology. I know of no other book that provides such a clear yet nuanced account of the origins, development, and contemporary forms of religious naturalism. Stone s achievement ensures that religious naturalism will again be a major contender in theological debates. Mary Doak, author of Reclaiming Narrative for Public Theology"

From the Back Cover

Previously a forgotten option in religious thinking, religious naturalism is coming back. It seeks to explore and encourage religious ways of responding to the world on a completely naturalistic basis without a supreme being or ground of being. In this book, Jerome A. Stone traces its history and analyzes some of the issues dividing religious naturalists. He includes analysis of nearly fifty distinguished philosophers, theologians, scientists, and figures in art and literature, both living and dead. They range from Ursula Goodenough, Gordon Kaufman, William Dean, Thomas Berry, and Gary Snyder to Jan Christiaan Smuts, William Bernhardt, Gregory Bateson, and Sharon Welch.

"This is a timely contribution to contemporary theology. I know of no other book that provides such a clear yet nuanced account of the origins, development, and contemporary forms of religious naturalism. Stone's achievement ensures that religious naturalism will again be a major contender in theological debates." -- Mary Doak, author of Reclaiming Narrative for Public Theology

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 273 pages
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press (December 18, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0791475379
  • ISBN-13: 978-0791475379
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,760,245 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Jerome Stone provides a comprehensive literature review and a compelling case for religious naturalism. Nature offers ‘minimalist transcendence’, for example, of awe, wonder, gratitude and reverence. George Santayana’s differential between facts and ideals generates scope for hope and aspiration, and hence for moral transformation, which is a role for prayer. ‘Gods are the representation of our ideals’ (p25). Piety is retrospective ; spirituality is prospective, (p34). We create deity (p40). Dewey’s God is ‘the furtherance of good in human life’ (p50). We can appreciate the ‘power and possibilities inherent in the nature of things’ (p54). Emergence challenges dualism and reductionism. Spirit opens up interpretive prospects (p218).

However, nature is morally ambiguous and insufficient. Nature may be a source of power rather than of goodness. ‘Right and wrong are determined by human interests’ (p27). Religious naturalism has to include human consciousness and conscience. In a secular atheist world, we need a new concept of human created religion to nurture and sustain the human spirit and human spirituality.

Geoff Crocker
Editor web site ‘Atheist Spirituality’
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