Speculative Naturalism: A Bleak Theology in Light of the Tragic


  • Leon Niemoczynski Immaculata University




metaphysical naturalism, German idealism, process philosophy


Theological perspective upon the relationship between deity and creature may not be as radically open to a full range of possible value as has once been thought. If one is seeking a capacious view of deity, creatures, and nature, I contend that not only should one account for continuity, wholeness, healing, salvation, warmth, benevolence, and joy in one’s religious metaphysics, but also for discontinuity, difference, diremption, rupture, trauma, tragedy, melancholy, coldness, and the more somber tones of the divine life. My exploration of this darker side of religious naturalism, a ‘bleak theology’ or ‘speculative naturalism’, as I am calling it, begins by articulating its opposite in the axiologically positive evaluation of nature and deity found within the mainstream of American religious naturalism. I then offer some speculative theses from the bleak or speculative naturalist perspective and argue why this darker side of religious naturalism ought to be accounted for.

Author Biography

Leon Niemoczynski, Immaculata University

Dr. Leon Niemoczynski Department of Philosophy Immaculata University Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


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How to Cite

Niemoczynski, L. (2014). Speculative Naturalism: A Bleak Theology in Light of the Tragic. Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, 8(2), 236–253. https://doi.org/10.1558/jsrnc.v8i2.236