Article ID: CBB001201357

Metaphysics Matters: Metaphysics and Soteriology in Jerome Stone's and Donald Crosby's Varieties of Religious Naturalism (2014)


Religious naturalism is distinct from supernatural religion largely because of metaphysical minimalism. Certain varieties of religious naturalism are more minimalist than others, however, and some even eschew metaphysics altogether. But is anything lost in that process? To determine metaphysics' degree of relevance to religious function, I compare the soteriology of the ontologically reticent Minimalist Vision of Jerome Stone to that of the ontologically rich Religion of Nature of Donald Crosby. I demonstrate that for these varieties of religious naturalism: (1) metaphysics influences soteriology; (2) metaphysical minimalism limits soteriological potential; and (3) metaphysics enhances soteriological potential. These conclusions lead me to assert the relevance of metaphysics to religious function, specifically for these varieties of religious naturalism, as well as to urge investigation into religious experience and quality as they may relate to metaphysics.

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Authors & Contributors
Casetta, Elena
Dana Matthiessen
Trout, Bernhardt L.
Paolo Vidali
Minkov, Svetozar Y.
Matthew H. Slater
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
Science and Education
Perspectives in Biology and Medicine
Naturwissenschaftliche Rundschau
History of the Human Sciences
Cambridge University Press
Arizona State University
Westminster John Knox Press
University of Pennsylvania Press
Philosophy of science
Science and religion
Nature and its relationship to culture; human-nature relationships
Naturalism (philosophy)
Whitehead, Alfred North
Whewell, William
Spencer, Herbert
Paley, William
Hunter, Ian
Humboldt, Alexander von
Time Periods
Early modern
21st century
20th century, late
19th century

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