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When God Is Gone, Everything Is Holy: The Making of a Religious Naturalist Hardcover – September 1, 2008
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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
From the Back Cover
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
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This is a much better book on the subject than those of "militant" atheists like Dawkins, Haris, Hitchens and especially Barker. Raymo is more likely to have a profound influence on those "sitting on the fence" than any of those other authors, regardless of how well they express their points of view.
If this book speaks to you, I strongly recommend Green Space, Green Time: The Way of Science.