The Routledge Handbook of Religious Naturalism
“Not when truth is dirty, but when it is shallow, does the enlightened man dislike to wade into its waters.”
—Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), German philosopher
The Routledge Handbook of Religious Naturalism was edited by Donald A. Crosby and Jerome A. Stone. The handbook is divided into several parts:
• Varieties of religious naturalism and its relations to other outlooks
• Some earlier religious naturalists
• Pantheism, materialism, and the value-ladenness of nature
• Ecology, humans, and politics in nationalistic perspective
• Religious naturalism and traditional religions
• Putting religious naturalism into practice
• Critical discussions of religious naturalism
Religious naturalism focuses on the world and its sacredness. An examination of early religious naturalists is analyzed with commentaries. The religious faiths of Buddhism, Shawnee, Daoism, Christian, Judaism, and Confucianism present perspectives of religious naturalism in their traditions. In some cases there are disagreements about their beliefs, but often there’s overlap with the recognition of the importance of nature.
With religious naturalism there isn’t a belief in sin, heaven, or the resurrection like the monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. With religious naturalists faith and hope are based on scientific proof. In a sense their beliefs are dualistic in nature for they see the world as “sacred” as opposed to “profane.” This was unlike the belief in Zen Buddhism that isn’t dualistic. In the indigenous Shawnee’s and Buddhist faiths people are viewed as being in a real way interrelated with other species of their environment. There isn’t a hierarchical structure like people in the West who consider themselves over other species. And when it comes to an afterlife, according to religion philosopher Loyal Rue (b. 1944), people when they die will disintegrate with nature for there isn’t a soul.