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Spirituality & PracticeChet Raymo's weekly column "Science Musings" appeared in the Boston Globe for 20 years and is now online at www.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