Is a “Christian Naturalism” Possible?: Exploring the Boundaries of a Tradition

Is a “Christian Naturalism” Possible?: Exploring the Boundaries of a Tradition Jerome A. stone / meadville lombard Theological school I. What is Christian Naturalism? s a christian naturalism possible? it sounds like a contradiction in terms. however, depending on the meaning of the terms, it is not only possible but highly desirable. The purpose of this article is to sketch the possibility of a christian naturalism, drawing on a number of twentieth- and twenty-firstcentury theologians. naturalism is a contrast term, like "left" or "up," which gets its meaning partly from opposition to another term, in this case "supernaturalism" or sometimes "supranaturalism." it is a set of beliefs which focuses on this world. (of course, there is no other world, according to naturalism, but since christians and others have often spoken of god, soul, and/or heaven as distinct from this world, naturalism is a denial of that strand of the christian tradition.) As bernard loomer wrote, it is a shift from living as a pilgrim between this world and the other world to an earth-creature resident in this.1 What would a Christian naturalism be? my suggestion is that, first, a christian naturalist would be willing to use the term "god" as the focus of the religious attitude. This will be http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Journal of Theology & Philosophy University of Illinois Press

Is a “Christian Naturalism” Possible?: Exploring the Boundaries of a Tradition

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University of Illinois Press
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Copyright © University of Illinois Press
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2156-4795
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Abstract

Jerome A. stone / meadville lombard Theological school I. What is Christian Naturalism? s a christian naturalism possible? it sounds like a contradiction in terms. however, depending on the meaning of the terms, it is not only possible but highly desirable. The purpose of this article is to sketch the possibility of a christian naturalism, drawing on a number of twentieth- and twenty-firstcentury theologians. naturalism is a contrast term, like "left" or "up," which gets its meaning partly from opposition to another term, in this case "supernaturalism" or sometimes "supranaturalism." it is a set of beliefs which focuses on this world. (of course, there is no other world, according to naturalism, but since christians and others have often spoken of god, soul, and/or heaven as distinct from this world, naturalism is a denial of that strand of the christian tradition.) As bernard loomer wrote, it is a shift from living as a pilgrim between this world and the other world to an earth-creature resident in this.1 What would a Christian naturalism be? my suggestion is that, first, a christian naturalist would be willing to use the term "god" as the focus of the religious attitude. This will be

Journal

American Journal of Theology & PhilosophyUniversity of Illinois Press

Published: Oct 26, 2011

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