“Religion Is Not About God”

Dick said I should read the book Religion Is Not About God by Loyal Rue (Rutgers University, 2005). Dick is right, I do need to read this book: Rue manages to link two of my primary concerns, religious naturalism and the growing crisis of overpopulation. I’m slowly working my way through the book — slowly, because periodically I have to stop and think about what Rue is saying.

To tempt you into reading the book, I found a 5 minute online video in which Rue presents one of the key concepts of the book. Come on, you have five minutes — sit for a moment and watch this video:

By the way, Jerome Stone, a recognized authority on religious naturalism, passes this positive judgment on Rue: “One of the best treatments of religion by a religious naturalist is Loyal Rue’s Religion Is Not About God” (in Religious Naturalism Today [SUNY Press, 2008], p. 4).

4 thoughts on ““Religion Is Not About God””

  1. Fascinating. The understanding that human beings aren’t rational has come up in the sphere of economics, but as far as I can tell, economists haven’t seriously changed their approaches any more than theologians have.

    I’m psyched that you’re preaching about this soon–look forward to hearing the sermon.

  2. I haven’t had the opportunity to read Professor Rue’s books. But, I have gathered from the various pages in Google that one of his observations is that Nature inspires spiritual qualities of reverence, gratitude,
    awe, humility, relatedness, compassion and hope. Albert Einstein also highlighted these facets of Nature.

  3. Of course if it is true that humans are not rational then it is even more important that nobody try to plan the economy, and that in truly Taoist fashion, we leave it be – after all the planners are going to mix their innate irrationality with the hubris of power, which is the precise recipe for disaster that we see taking place all over the world.

  4. Piers — Or you could adopt a different theological position closer to the humanist theologian William R. Jones. Jones asserts the “functional ultimacy of humankind,” meaning that in spite of all our limitations, it’s our responsibility to do what we can to make the world a better place.

    Or you could also question why rationality is the highest virtue. Rather than worrying so much about rationality, perhaps we should worry more about moral and ethical integrity. This, I think, was what the ancient Greek philosophers were trying to tell us.

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