Practices in Religious Naturalism

Authored by: Eric Steinhart

The Routledge Handbook of Religious Naturalism

Print publication date:  February  2018
Online publication date:  February  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138292079
eBook ISBN: 9781315228907
Adobe ISBN:


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At present religious naturalism is primarily a philosophical perspective. It involves mainly commitments to abstract doctrines about reality and value. As Crosby once put it, religious naturalism has “no practicing communities, no institutional structures, no duly constituted cadre of leaders, no body of traditional beliefs, no rituals or ceremonies, no revered founders or scriptures, no stories, myths and symbols” (2002: 155). Today the situation remains the same. If religious naturalism ever hopes to be more than merely an intellectual exercise, it needs to define genuinely religious ways of living. It needs to develop systems of practices. These practices need to embody the core values of religious naturalism. They also need to be attractive. Practices are costly, and successful religious practices provide benefits to repay those costs.

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