Naturalism and the Aesthetic Character of Religion

The Eclipse of the Absolute in the Experience of the Sacred


  • Martin O. Yalcin Montclair State University



religious naturalism, religion and aesthetics, philosophy of nature, natural theology, Justus Buchler, Robert Corrington


I offer an aesthetic religious metaphysics from the perspective of naturalism as the most effective antidote to abjection within religion. I understand abjection within religious experience as the simultaneous desire to demonize nature and to idolize one’s conception of the sacred. My chief argument is that abjection occurs when the sacred is understood as being absolute. I trace the absolute character of the sacred to a metaphysics that insists on the utter incommensurability of the sacred with respect to nature. In contrast I defend a metaphysics that points to the radical inde?niteness and radical fecundity of nature as the reason why the sacred must be one of innumerable orders of nature. Once the sacred is leveled to the plane of nature, demonization and idolization are virtually foreclosed within religion because the sacred is now related and relative to other orders of nature.

Author Biography

Martin O. Yalcin, Montclair State University

Montclair State University Philosophy and Religion Department Adjunct Faculty


Buchler, Justus. 1955. Nature and Judgment (New York: Columbia University Press).

———. 1961. The Concept of Method (New York: Columbia University Press).

———. 1979 [1951]. Toward a General Theory of Human Judgment (New York: Dover Publications, 2nd rev. edn).

———. 1990 [1966]. Metaphysics of Natural Complexes (ed. Kathleen Wallace and Armen Marsoobian with Robert S. Corrington; Albany: State University of New York Press, 2nd exp. edn).

Corrington, Robert S. 1992. Nature and Spirit: An Essay in Ecstatic Naturalism (New York: Fordham University Press).

———. 1993. An Introduction to C.S. Peirce: Philosopher, Semiotician, and Ecstatic Naturalist (Lanham: Rowman & Little



How to Cite

Yalcin, M. O. (2014). Naturalism and the Aesthetic Character of Religion: The Eclipse of the Absolute in the Experience of the Sacred. Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, 8(2), 182–205.