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Religious Naturalist Perspectives

There are lots of ways to think of oneself as a Religious Naturalist; for example in the perspectives collected so far we have one which emphasizes the lack of god-language, one which emphasizes science as a way of knowing, and one which emphasizes the simple act of living in harmony with nature.

The term Big Tent is a metaphor we use to capture and describe the wide range of beliefs, principles, and backgrounds emphasized by Religious Naturalists. The metaphor seeks to attract people with diverse viewpoints and does not require adherence to some specific ideology as a criterion for inclusion. Indeed, we think of the Big Tent as a consilience of various booths, so that each of us can have both a general home within the broader Big Tent community, and also a finely-tuned rapport with those who happen to share our booth. Thus each of us can find agreement in a friendly, collaborative and beneficial way, with perhaps some friendly banter between booths.

This means our philosophies and anthropologies may be a bit different. However our commitment to scholarly and tolerant discourse within our Big Tent makes for an interesting and energizing domicile - a domicile with amiable social aspects to it. We find the discussions/debates within this intellectual home to be challenging, enlightening and downright good-natured fun.

On the next page we have attempted to outline the current perspectives within the Big Tent into a set of booths. It is safe to say that the way we've organized them so far (into one of four categories) will change as we learn of additional perspectives and find more useful ways to organize them. If you don't find your perspective here, for example, and if you consider yourself a Religious Naturalist, please write an email to the content editor and see if you can work out a location for your perspective within the outline.

Individual Viewpoints within Religious Naturalism's Big Tent

The sub-pages or web sites that follow present various opinions on Religious Naturalism. They represent the opinions of the individual authors and are not necessarily the positions of the editors of this site.

Contacts for this website

The first three listed below are editors of this site. You may contact them for more information or submit your comments using the Email Contact page at the end of this website. You may need to copy and paste their email addresses if they do not link properly with your email service.

Content Editor/Owner - Michael Cavanaugh 

You may email Michael if you have questions about the content presented here or wish to submit a viewpoint on RN. Email address - michaelcav@aol.com

Michael's Perspective

 Alton Jenkins - Founder of RN LibraryThing 

"Religious Naturalism is the concept I use to find my place in the oneness of being." - Shortly after putting together the Religious Naturalism bibliography at LibraryThing, Alton passed away. His son Kieth continues his effort as an Editor.

Alton's view of things

Editor - Ursula Goodenough

Sacred Depths of Nature introduces RN as a paradigm of reason that is both natural and spiritual.

Interview - Meaning of Life TV

Article - There Are Two Flavors of God People

Barry Boggs - Editor for LibraryThing
I take religious naturalism to be neither a variant of naturalism nor a religion but rather a description of how naturalism functions in some people’s lives.

 Graphics Editor/Webmaster  - Jerald Robertson

A non-theistic approach to what can be a mono-theistic paradigm for RN. He has a book in process to define neo-Pantheism. - jerald.Robertson@gmail.com

A Pantheist Perspective

 Walter Mandell

Religious naturalism to me means a worldview, or more accurately a group of somewhat similar worldviews. The essential features these worldviews all have in common are:

Walt's Worldview of Religious Nauralism

Wlliam Murry

I espouse a nontheistic faith that I call humanistic religious naturalism. Religious naturalism is the basic theological perspective of liberal religion, particularly of Unitarian Universalism. 


Tom Clark

What follows is an attempt to boil down the elements of naturalism into a visible, coherent whole. If you're wondering “Well, what is naturalism anyway, in ordinary language? What is it all about?”, you might find here a reasonably answer.


Jerome Stone

What is Religious Naturalism and how God is perceived among Religious Naturalists

Religious Naturalism in a U.U. context

Sarah Clark

The Sacred Universe sermon by the Reverend Clark

Sacred Universe

Rabbi Robert Barr

Whether or not an individual has a concept of God is not the central issue. What is central to Beth Adam is our agreement upon a philosophic system based upon human reason and experience.

A Jewish Perspective

Connie Barlow

An Immense Journey - Religious Naturalism and The Great Story

Barlow Essay

  Progressive Quakerism: A Religious Naturalist Perspective

Charley is an active Quaker but raised Pentecostal. Quakerism is one of the religious communities most open to diverse religious viewpoints. To be a RN within the Society of Friends is still something of a rarity. He is the registrar of the Religious-Naturalism Yahoo listserv group - charley63@mailworks.org

Progressive Quakerism

P. Roger Gillette

Theological discussion and defense of the concept and practice of religious naturalism


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