Nature as Sacred Ground

A Metaphysics for Religious Naturalism

By Donald A. Crosby

Subjects: Religion, Philosophy, Metaphysics
Paperback : 9781438459301, 204 pages, July 2016
Hardcover : 9781438459295, 204 pages, September 2015

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Table of contents


1. Being and Nothingness

2. One and Many

3. Permanence and Change

4. Causality, Novelty, and Freedom

5. Matter, Life, and Mind

6. Good and Evil

7. The Sacred and the Profaned

8. Summing Up

Works Cited

Provides a metaphysical outlook for religious naturalism.


Nature as Sacred Ground explores a metaphysics for religious naturalism. Donald A. Crosby discusses major aspects of reality implicit in his ongoing explication of Religion of Nature, a religious outlook that holds the natural world to be the only world, one with no supernatural domains, presences, or powers behind it. Nature as thus envisioned is far more than just a system of facts and factual relations. It also has profoundly important valuative dimensions, including what Crosby regards as nature's intrinsically sacred value. The search for comprehensive metaphysical clarity and understanding is a substantial part of this work's undertaking. Yet this endeavor also reminds us that, while it is good to think deeply and systematically about major features of reality and their relations to one another, we also need to reflect tirelessly about how to respond to metaphysical concepts that call for decision and action.

Donald A. Crosby is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Colorado State University. He is the author of many books, including More Than Discourse: Symbolic Expressions of Naturalistic Faith; The Thou of Nature: Religious Naturalism and Reverence for Sentient Life; Faith and Reason: Their Roles in Religious and Secular Life; Living with Ambiguity: Religious Naturalism and the Menace of Evil; and A Religion of Nature, all published by SUNY Press.


"This well-written, lucid, and reasoned tome continues Crosby's grand systematic effort at explicating and rationally defending his "religion of Nature" … this book represents a most valuable dialogue between a variant of naturalistic process philosophy and numerous developments in contemporary science. " — Process Studies

"While this is an important scholarly contribution, those who teach will appreciate it as a pedagogical contribution as well. The material is accessible to a wide audience, including undergraduates from a variety of disciplines, and as always, Crosby writes with a humility and graciousness that makes his work a model for students and young scholars trying to develop their own positions and find their own voices. " — American Journal of Theology and Philosophy