Ursula Goodenough's "The Sacred Depths of Nature"

Has anyone here read Ursula Goodenough’s “The Sacred Depths of Nature”?
How does it fit into your spiritual and religious worldview and the relationship between science and religion?
Ursula is one of the founders of Religious Naturalism and a past president of the Institute of Religion in the Age of Science

Antony Van der Mude

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I have not read it or even heard of it but will definitely try to find it soon. Sounds interesting. I wonder if they are using religious naturalism in the same way I use Christian naturalism as in, my faith is Christianity but functionally in my life it’s operated essentially solely through atheism. By that I mean there is essentially no choice in my life where the supernatural plays a variable.

Anyways looking forward to hopefully finding the book.

Well turns out it’s an audiobook option through my Hoopla Digital account and so I’ll probably listen to it on Wednesday at work.

So I listed to the book. On the scientific aspect I found it really good. The hope for nature to play a larger role in religious focuses I was 100% on point with. I think the book is well worth going through.

On the religious aspect as a whole though, I found it confusing. The terms she used, followed by the way she described it did not make sense to me really well. I guess ultimately, I left thinking she was an atheist who used religious jargon and blend talk of feeling spiritual with nature . She refers to herself as a religious naturalist.

Perhaps it’s weird to me because it’s like 99.99% what I believe and feel, but that tiny difference of me accepting my faith as faith is very different. To me it seems more like atheist spirituality which is ok. Not bashing it. But it’s far different from what I mean when I use Christian naturalist.

I had Ursula Goodenough as a professor in graduate school about 38 years ago. I have not read this book, but I doubt very much that her brand of “religion” is Christianity. Several years ago, in fact, she was part of a group that met with the Dalai Lama. I suspect that it is more akin to religious mysticism or pantheism. Does she refer to Jesus Christ at all as God? Does she even refer to Jesus Christ at all?

It sounds like there may be room in the brew for a materialistic panentheism as well.

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