Dear Religious Naturalists,
The past two weeks have been, for me and I trust most of you, dark and darkening. On November 11, a poignant email came from one of my sons: “When?” in the subject line and then “Will it stop hurting? And we lost Leonard Cohen? I can’t even!!” in the text.
Yes there have been other such times – the three ‘60s assassinations and 9/11 come to mind – and we’ve picked ourselves up and carried on, and other such phrases. Friends and family are essential, and there’s also the planet to provide the ultimate grounding and perspective. Nested between these are our groups, our associations, from which we derive and contribute meaning. The challenge of confronting the headwinds ahead is tempered by knowing that we religious naturalists are all in this, our tiny individual drops pooled together, knowing there’s a better way.
Meanwhile, a bright spot in our month is that Carol Wayne White of Bucknell University has accepted our invitation to join RNA’s Board of Advisors. We set up the Board when we launched RNA in 2014 and haven’t added to it since, but she was/is a no-brainer. She’s giving a keynote talk, entitled “Black Lives, Sacred Humanity, and The Racialization of Nature, or Why America Needs Religious Naturalism Today” on November 20 at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion in San Antonio, and has a new book Black Lives and Sacred Humanity:Toward an African American Religious Naturalism https://www.amazon.com/Black-Lives-Sacred-Humanity-Naturalism-ebook/dp/B01FKJDKP2/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1479517992&sr=1-1.
Speaking of RNA advisors, Don Crosby and Jerry Stone have a contract to edit a book, The Routledge Handbook of Religious Naturalism. I’m an author, so the table of contents I’ve received is not finalized (our chapters are due in January), but other authors include RNA advisors Mike Hogue, Carol White, Karl Peters, V.V. Raman, and Loyal Rue, and RNA members Jay Forrest, Whitney Bauman, Daniel Strain and Dan Solomon. There are over 30 chapters listed with all sorts of intriguing titles – it looks like it’s going to be terrific! My chapter title is “Bringing Religious Naturalism to the Internet,” and I’ll soon be requesting feedback from you as to how that works/doesn’t work for you, the intent being to include these perspectives in the piece.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving.
President of RNA