INTRODUCTION

Religious Naturalism combines a naturalist worldview with ideals, perceptions, and practices typically associated with religion. It is a perspective that finds spiritual meaning in the natural world while rejecting the notion of a supernatural realm.

 

THE AIMS OF A PROJECT ON RELIGIOUS NATURALISM

1. Develop effective ways of speaking to the mainstream culture about a secular, universal spirituality of nature and reason (religious naturalism) – that is acceptable to the contemporary, educated, postmodern mindset. This requires a revisioning of the concerns of religion/spirituality through the lens of evidential reasoning and applying the best of human knowledge – science, social science, historical scholarship, anthropology, cultural studies, neuroscience, and psychology. 

2. Promote a sense of spirituality that focuses on issues of human meaning, values, purpose, and flourishing, not supernatural realities that lack evidence. This spirituality of nature or natural spirituality is centered in the mythic narrative evolution, takes nature as its touchstone, and adopts a humanist approach accessible to all. 

3. Use science, story, art, and celebration to create new rituals aimed at expanding human awareness of the sacred aspects of all life and nature itself, building communities, and encouraging a spirituality of awe, gratitude, wonder, and empathy.

4. Establish an enduring understanding of interconnectedness – overcoming the illusion of separateness of humans from other humans and humans and nature. Individual well being cannot be fully achieved apart from the well being of others, all living things, and nature itself. 

5. Employ this religious naturalism to help promote a humane a culture that respects all life and affirms human dignity.

6. Encourage scholarship that develops religious naturalism into a full and independent spiritual tradition and practice. 

7. Offer our insights in ways that are humble and inviting – not triumphant, controlling, judgmental, or arrogant – while remaining open to dialog, challenge, and disagreement, welcoming a valid diversity of approaches. 

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