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Naturalism And Religion   By: (1869-1937)

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In Naturalism and Religion, Rudolf Otto delves into the complexities of the relationship between naturalism and religious thought. With meticulous research and thoughtful analysis, Otto explores the inherent tensions and potential harmonies between these two seemingly opposing perspectives.

The book begins by introducing the central tenets of naturalism and religion, shedding light on their fundamental differences. Otto stresses the importance of understanding the intricate nuances within each philosophical approach, as their divergences often lead to misunderstandings and conflicts when it comes to matters of faith.

Drawing on a wide range of historical and contemporary examples, Otto masterfully dissects the various arguments presented by proponents of naturalism. He skillfully engages with the work of prominent naturalists, including Richard Dawkins and Bertrand Russell, while consistently maintaining a balanced and respectful tone throughout his analysis.

One of the book's significant strengths lies in Otto's ability to recognize and expound on the potential points of convergence between naturalism and religion. By challenging the prevailing notion that the two viewpoints are wholly incompatible, he offers a refreshing perspective that encourages dialogue and mutual understanding.

Moreover, Otto introduces a nuanced framework that transcends oversimplified dichotomies. From exploring the overlap between naturalistic pantheism and religious mysticism to highlighting commonalities between scientific and religious language, he provides ample evidence to support his endeavor of bridging the gap between naturalism and religion.

The author's prose is clear and accessible, making the book highly approachable for both scholars and general readers. Additionally, Otto's comprehensive examination of multiple religious traditions adds depth and breadth to his arguments, further consolidating his thesis.

In terms of weaknesses, some readers may find Otto's discussions of complex philosophical concepts to be overly detailed and, at times, dense. Nevertheless, the author succeeds in keeping the book engaging and intellectually stimulating, despite the formidable subject matter.

Overall, Naturalism and Religion is a thought-provoking and insightful exploration of the relationship between naturalism and religious belief. Rudolf Otto's expertise and meticulous research shine through in this book, making it a valuable resource for anyone interested in understanding and appreciating the intricate interplay between these two significant aspects of human thought.

First Page:

Naturalism And Religion


Dr. Rudolf Otto

Professor of Theology in the University of Göttingen

Translated by

J. Arthur Thomson

Professor of Natural History in the University of Aberdeen


Margaret R. Thomson

Edited with an Introduction by

The Rev. W. D. Morrison, LL.D.

Williams & Norgate Ltd.

38 Great Ormond Street, London, W.C.1



Preface. Chapter I. The Religious Interpretation Of The World. What is Distinctive in the Religious Outlook. Chapter II. Naturalism. What is Distinctive in the Naturalistic Outlook. The True Naturalism. Goethe's Attitude to Naturalism. The two Kinds of Naturalism. Aim and Method of Naturalism. Chapter III. Fundamental Principles. How the Religious and the Naturalistic Outlooks Conflict. Mystery : Dependence : Purpose. The Mystery of Existence Remains Unexplained. Evolution and New Beginnings. The Dependence of the Order of Nature... Continue reading book >>

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