A Minimal Statement on Religious Naturalism

Religious Naturalism is a spiritual and philosophical orientation arising from profound responses to the wonder and mystery of Nature and its emergent manifestations in human creativity and culture. Its views of Nature are embodied in the Epic of Evolution and informed by scientific inquiry, without reference to supernatural explanations. It emphasizes reverence and gratitude for Nature and a deep regard for all life; it recognizes the imperative of planetary sustainability. It supports efforts that honor ecological and cultural diversity, that promote social justice and free inquiry, and that create a more compassionate, rational world where humans and non-humans alike can thrive.
Religious naturalism is the name given to a general set of ideas and beliefs that combine religious/spiritual elements with a scientific, non-supernatural understanding of nature. For most of its history, religious naturalism has resided quietly in the academic halls of theology and philosophy, and not always under that name. This collection of ideas started to take on new life when biologist Ursula Goodenough published The Sacred Depths of Nature in 1998, a wonderful book juxtaposing science and spirituality. This book pushed religious naturalism out of academia and made it accessible to a general audience.

Since that time, we have seen websites and communities adopt religious naturalism explicitly. And yet, even with its rich intellectual history, religious naturalism has suffered from a conceptual vagueness. For any movement to mature, it must have a clear understanding of its core commitment, the banner under which its advocates rally. This is the purpose of A Minimal Statement of Religious Naturalism.

The Statement is not a creed nor a test of membership. It is a concise reflection of a broad collection of ideas, perspectives, and ethical stances that has been given the academic label "religious naturalism." To speak metaphorically, this statement is intended to reflect the trunk of the religious naturalist tree, with many possible branches growing from it.

The Statement is not the only possible articulation of religious naturalism, nor is it in any way perfect; no such statement could be. The goal is to have a conceptual starting point, a place where we can build the religious naturalist movement.

You are invited to endorse A Minimal Statement on Religious Naturalism with your virtual signature. Signing proclaims endorsement of the statement as being a good enough representation of religious naturalism; it does not require being in perfect agreement with it. A signature does not imply that the signatory could not concurrently affirm different articulations of religious naturalism or some other set of ideas. The statement is not affiliated with any organization or group, and so signing it does not imply endorsement of any group or affiliation with other signatories except as fellow supporters of the statement. Signing does not imply membership in any organization and will not result in such, not even an email list.

This is an opportunity to come together as religious naturalists to establish a foundation for our beliefs and our movement. The world is changing rapidly and now more than ever we need new ways of fulfilling our spiritual needs, ways that looks to science for knowledge, to reason and compassion for solving problems, and to each other for making life meaningful, fulfilling, and joyous.

Sign the Statement
We the Undersigned endorse the Minimal Statement on Religious Naturalism
Signed: Eugene A. Troxell
April 10, 2014 Delete this entry View IP address

A good place to start.
Signed: Philip Van der Mude
January 30, 2014 Delete this entry View IP address

great starting point
Signed: Wayne Mellinger
January 18, 2014 Delete this entry View IP address

A fine statement!
Signed: Peer Gebert
September 24, 2013 Delete this entry View IP address

Nicely done, right to the point!
Signed: Tricia Armstrong
April 13, 2013 Delete this entry View IP address


Signed: Howie McCausland
March 8, 2013 Delete this entry View IP address


Signed: Sharon M. Wells
August 10, 2012 Delete this entry View IP address


Signed: Ben Gardner
July 1, 2012 Delete this entry View IP address


Signed: Miriam Yagud
April 10, 2012 Delete this entry View IP address


Signed: Jeff Rodgers
February 23, 2012 Delete this entry View IP address


Signed: James G. Ward
April 24, 2011 Delete this entry View IP address


Signed: Carol N. La Due
March 31, 2011 Delete this entry View IP address

11 unicorns = 1 jesus
Signed: Rev. Donald H. Fielding
February 13, 2011 Delete this entry View IP address


Signed: Luc Schneider
August 11, 2010 Delete this entry View IP address


Signed: Marilyn Brien
August 5, 2010 Delete this entry View IP address


Signed: Antony Van der Mude
May 30, 2010 Delete this entry View IP address


Signed: Donna Jean Glasgow
April 28, 2010 Delete this entry View IP address


Signed: Liz Janzen
April 11, 2010 Delete this entry View IP address


Signed: Alex Szeto
March 26, 2010 Delete this entry View IP address

Unitarian Universalist Religious Naturalists (UURN), Unitarian Universalists Hong Kong (UUHK)
Signed: Connie Barlow
March 26, 2010 Delete this entry View IP address

evolutionary humanist and UU religious naturalist
Signed: Ruel J. Eskelsen
March 25, 2010 Delete this entry View IP address

Follower of Religious Naturalism through UURN-Unitarian Universalist Religious Naturalists
Signed: Michele Norman
March 15, 2010 Delete this entry View IP address


Signed: David A. Morris
March 10, 2010 Delete this entry View IP address

UUrn
Signed: alessandro diana
March 8, 2010 Delete this entry View IP address


Signed: Chani Capps
March 8, 2010 Delete this entry View IP address


Signed: Joakim Waern
March 7, 2010 Delete this entry View IP address


Signed: Mary E McCutchan
March 7, 2010 Delete this entry View IP address

yes, yes, yes
Signed: Kerry Walker
March 7, 2010 Delete this entry View IP address


Signed: Abby Davis
March 6, 2010 Delete this entry View IP address


Signed: Jana Rossier
March 6, 2010 Delete this entry View IP address

This is easy to sign. Thanks for putting in the work!
Signed: Walter Mandell
March 6, 2010 Delete this entry View IP address

The "Minimal Statement" does a good job of describing Religious Naturalism, and, by the way,also describes "Naturalistic Pantheism", which I consider to be a 'flavor' of Religious Naturalism. Specifically Naturalistic Pantheism is identical or virtually identical with what I term "Hard Religious Naturalism" i.e. Religious Naturalism without any 'wiggle room' for supernatural beliefs.
Signed: Elinor Artman
March 6, 2010 Delete this entry View IP address

Such a useable statement - Thanks.
Signed: Joan Hunter
March 6, 2010 Delete this entry View IP address

If more of us looked at the world this way, we could work on the monumental problems facing humanity without religious disputes.
Signed: Charley Earp
March 6, 2010 Delete this entry View IP address


Signed: Ursula Goodenough
March 6, 2010 Delete this entry View IP address


Signed: Jerald L. Robertson
March 6, 2010 Delete this entry View IP address

one small step, then another and then another....
Signed: Brian Thomas
March 5, 2010 Delete this entry View IP address

Well put. I hope to see more people coming out in support of this statement - undoubtedly they are out there, even if they've never heard of RN.
Signed: Keri Oliver
March 5, 2010 Delete this entry View IP address


Signed: Capri Starnes
March 5, 2010 Delete this entry View IP address


Signed: Dan Solomon
March 5, 2010 Delete this entry View IP address

Amen!
Signed: Larry Cobb
March 5, 2010 Delete this entry View IP address


Signed: Jerry Lumpkins
March 5, 2010 Delete this entry View IP address

Your efforts to articulate a world view that is focused on reason, knowledge, and compassion is very comforting.
Signed: Katharine Houk
March 5, 2010 Delete this entry View IP address


Signed: Paxdora Kosmosian
March 5, 2010 Delete this entry View IP address


Signed: Tom Clark, Center for Naturalism
March 5, 2010 Delete this entry View IP address

Agreed: "we need a spirituality of reason, empirical knowledge, and compassion."
Signed: Peter Schogol
March 5, 2010 Delete this entry View IP address


Signed: Joseph Sheader
March 4, 2010 Delete this entry View IP address


Signed: Michael Cavanaugh
March 5, 2010 Delete this entry View IP address


Signed: Phil Liszewski
March 4, 2010 Delete this entry View IP address

I'm not an aetheist but I endorse your statement and your goal.
Signed: Rebecca Hecking
March 4, 2010 Delete this entry View IP address

Although I question the necessity of such a statement, especially for a movement that is by nature very individualistic regarding interpretations of the Sacred, I nevertheless add my signature in hopes of creating community.
Copyright 2010. The Statement may be reprinted verbatim, without changes, with a link back to this page: http://www.rnstatement.com/
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