When God Is Gone Everything Is Holy: The Making of a Religious Naturalist

When God Is Gone Everything Is Holy: The Making of a Religious Naturalist

by Chet Raymo
     
 

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In what he describes as a "late-life credo," renowned science writer Chet Raymo narrates his half-century journey from the traditional Catholicism of his youth to his present perspective as a "Catholic agnostic." As a scientist, Raymo holds to the skepticism that accepts only verifiable answers, but as a "religious naturalist," he never ceases his pursuit of "the

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Overview

In what he describes as a "late-life credo," renowned science writer Chet Raymo narrates his half-century journey from the traditional Catholicism of his youth to his present perspective as a "Catholic agnostic." As a scientist, Raymo holds to the skepticism that accepts only verifiable answers, but as a "religious naturalist," he never ceases his pursuit of "the beautiful and terrible mystery that soaks creation." Raymo assembles a stunning array of scientists, philosophers, mystics, and poets who help him discover "glimmers of the Absolute in every particular." Whether exploring the connection of the human body to the stars or the meaning of prayer of the heart, these challenging reflections will cause believers and agnostics alike to pause and pay attention.

Editorial Reviews

Spirituality & Practice
Chet 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
Library Journal

Raymo (professor emeritus, Stonehill Coll.; Honey from Stone), a former science columnist, is one of the most articulate and subtly elegant contemporary writers on science and spirit. Here, he offers a new kind of spirituality in the light of empirical science, writing candidly of his Catholic upbringing and his current agnosticism, poised "in the portal between knowledge and mystery, between the commonplace and the divine." He draws on sources ranging from Sigrid Undest to Saint-Exupéry to depict a wonder-filled religious naturalism. In an environment characterized by the strident antireligionism of such writers as Christopher Hitchens, Raymo's eloquence should win many readers. Highly recommended.


—Graham Christian

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781933495132
Publisher:
Ave Maria Press
Publication date:
09/01/2008
Pages:
148
Sales rank:
417,201
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.90(d)

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