Goodenough for Fundamentalists

That’s the name of the author of a book I’m reading — Ursula Goodenough.
I usually don’t read non-fiction, but this book was recommended in an article by one of my favorite atheists, Natalie Angiers.
In the Introduction to The Sacred Depths of Nature, Goodenough writes:
My agenda for this book is to outline the foundations for…a plantetary…ethic that would make no claim to supplant existing traditions but would seek to coexist with them, informing our global concerns while we continue to orient our daily lives in our cultural and religious contexts….
…..It is therefore the goal of this book to present an accessible account of our scientific understanding of Nature and then suggest ways that this account can call forth appealing and abiding religious responses — an approach that can be called religious naturalism. If religious emotions can be elicited by natural reaity — and I believe that they can — then the story of Nature has the potential to serve as the cosmos for the global ethos that we need to articulate.

Religious Naturalism. I like the sound of that because Nature does inspire me in ways that others are inspired by the notion of “god.”
The drawings of nature in Goodenough’s book, done by Ippy Patterson of North Carolina, are inspiring in themselves. This is my favorite:
punica granatum.
Every religious fundamentalist should read this book — as well as evey atheist who yearns for a sense of the sacred.

4 thoughts on “Goodenough for Fundamentalists

  1. Here’s to Goodenough! More power to anyone who attempts to bridge the horrible chasm in this country created largely by Bush and his boogiemen. We weren’t always at each other’s throats, the fundamentalists and the atheists, the Repubs and the Dems. Good god. If this kind of terribly oppressive atmosphere is what we have to look forward to for as long as these people are in power, then we desperately need people like the good Ursula to help bail us out, build bridges to understanding each other again.
    Nature has always been interwoven with the sacred worship of the holy. That we are so far apart from revering Nature now is evident by all the recent repealing of environmental and conservationist laws of the last 30 years that were written for the express purpose of saving Nature.
    Let me know how the book turns out. I also don’t really delve into non-fiction but I thank you for doing so. We need all the help we can get now to try and tear down these “wailing victim walls” put up by the Fundamentalists.

  2. I really like the sound of this book. Thank you for the preview. But I am still reeling from the fact that a thinking lady like you doesn’t usually read non-fiction. Perhaps this book will lead to a change of heart.

  3. I read fiction to escape into someone else’s reality. But I do enjoy non-fiction that deals with the awesomeness of natural things — Loren Eisley, Lewis Thomas…..
    I just don’t have enough time to read these days.

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