Naturalism and the Aesthetic Character of Religion
The Eclipse of the Absolute in the Experience of the Sacred
Keywords: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.
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