When God Is Gone, Everything Is Holy: The Making of a Religious Naturalist
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When God Is Gone, Everything Is Holy: The Making of a Religious Naturalist

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  103 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Best-selling author of sixteen books and a long-time writer of the popular column "Science Musings" in the Boston Globe, Chet Raymo invites readers to explore "the beautiful and terrible mystery that soaks creation."

In what he describes as a "late-life credo," renowned science writer Chet Raymo narrates his half-century journey from the traditional Catholicism of his yout

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Hardcover, 148 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by Sorin Books (first published August 31st 2008)
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Emily
Noted writer, naturalist, and Professor Emeritus of Physics at Stonehill College, Raymo is first and foremost a man of science. But unlike Richard Dawkins and those of his New Atheist ilk, Raymo has a soft spot for religion, specifically in the sensuous rituals of his own Catholic upbringing.

This book is a brief, humble manifesto on what it means to be a religious naturalist. Raymo does not believe in miracles or the supernatural. He believes, rather, that we should stop looking for God in exce...more
Jeanette
2 1/2 stars

This guy's too much of a fence-sitter to warrant 3 stars. He presents excellent arguments for why science rejects the existence of "God" and miracles and an afterlife. (Zero proof, no reproducible results.) But he cannot seem to commit himself to one view or the other. He considers himself a true scientist, but then insists on calling himself a "Catholic agnostic." When I finished the book I was left without a clue as to what he'd hoped to show in writing it. I felt like the whole boo...more
Reid
I think the publisher’s blurb and a few reviews here do this book justice - it’s a fine book, displaying ”spirituality that is consistent with the empirical way of knowing.” It is, in fact, rich with interesting references, including the simple complexity, if you will, of the 959-celled worm C.elegans, Deus absconditus, and Gerard Manley Hopkin’s poem “God’s Grandeur” - “The world is charged with the grandeur of God. It will flame out, like shining from shook foil...”

The book offers an example,...more
Jessica
Dec 29, 2010 Jessica rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jessica by: Amazon Vine
Shelves: non-fiction
My Amazon review: The middle of the road rating on this book is not a reflection on the author, who is obviously an incredibly smart and thoughtful man and a very interesting writer, but on the fact that I am very obviously not the target audience for this book and am honestly not sure how this book would rate when compared to others written in a smiliar vein.

That said, this is the heaviest 150 page book I've ever opened. By page 24 my list of people and words to double check on included Gerard...more
Rod
A concise and enlightening look into "religious naturalism." Raymo is poetic, crystal clear in what he has gained from his own religious upbringing (Catholic) and where he departs from it, and an eloquent and sincere voice for the scientific worldview (rather than harsh and sarcastic, as Richard Dawkins can be). Raymo says a lot in a slim volume. This is one that will stay with you.
Mina
Another book sent for me to review . . .

I am usually a very quick reader of books, as long as the subject matter isn't too dry or boring. Unfortunately, this book did not hold my attention very well, but that could be because I am not really interested in science all that much. At first glance I thought that this book would be about spirituality, in a sense of truly exploring one's existence with nature too -- but that wasn't the case here.

There are a few points I'd like to make about the author...more
Grace
The title to this book is somewhat misleading, at least to me. The author isn't advocating the absence of the concept of god, but rather finding spirituality in the complexities of nature--that "the point of religion. . .is to celebrate the unfathomable mystery of creation" (4). It is a beautiful book, and the first spiritual book that has resonated with me in a long time. I borrowed this title from the library, but I'm definitely buying a copy for myself.

"I am an atheist, if by God one means a...more
Rama
The ramblings of a "religious naturalist:" When God is around; everything is not holy

The author recalls and recounts his life experiences about his catholic upbringing, and his conflict with scientific and philosophical education. He calls himself a "religious naturalist," who does not believe in personal, transcendent God; yet feels religious and belief in Catholic sacramental tradition.

This is a potpourri of sociology and theology dictated by a certain level of morality required by Catholicis...more
Gary
I resonate with the message that the author is intending to get across with this book. However, the meandering style reduces somewhat the effectiveness of the delivery of that message. I love Mr. Raymo's Science Musing blog (http://www.sciencemusings.com/blog/), and find his style and content more impactful in those smaller, zen-like observational chunks.
Stephen
This is one of those books that the title says it all.

I think it's science professor/writer Raymo's smallest (143 pages) but really it’s his most profound. In this case: simply is better. The book traces the author’s transformation from his devote Catholic up-bringing to his self-assigned descriptor “religious naturalist,” who proclaims that “Divinity is inseparable from nature.”

“I know…that for all the learning, honor, law, and material prosperity that make our lives tolerable, we live in a wo...more
Staff Favorites
Written by a professor emeritus from a college in the northeast and highly regarded science author, this book is a reflection on one man's transformation from devout Catholicism to what is titled "religious naturalism". Raymo argues that the study, even worship, of the natural world and it's enormous complexity and beauty is enough to occupy a religious naturalist--no need to invent a higher power or supreme being. He develops this argument with a liberal sprinkling of scientific thought and his...more
Art
Written by a professor emeritus from a college in the northeast and highly regarded science author, this book is a reflection on one man's transformation from devout Catholicism to what is titled "religious naturalism". Chet argues that the study, even worship, of the natural world and its enormous complexity and beauty is enough to occupy a religious naturalist - no need to invent a higher power or supreme being. He develops this argument with a liberal sprinkling of scientific thought and hist...more
Katy
Started out a little unsure of this, but by the end I couldn't put it down. What "Honey from Stone" hinted at as an underlying foundation, this book expressly studies and explores. It's Raymo's analysis of his path from devout seminary student preparing to enter the priesthood to physicist and "religious naturalist." Clearly a different path than my own, but he manages to describe my own beliefs better than I could ever attempt.
Amy
I really liked this book although I only gave 3 stars because some chapters were really boring for me but a few chapters were extremely interesting. He has great ideas on god, science, spirituality. He finds a way to combine religion and science, believing in one doesn't mean that you can't believe in the other. In fact he says that if you believe in science, then you see the miracles of 'God' all around you every day.
Sally
A nature writer and physicist explores ground that lies between theological or faith-based religion (particularly Catholicism, his birth faith) and scientism. A complete empiricist and "agnostic Catholic" who rejects all anthropormorphic views of divinity or nature, he is drawn to discover and celebrate the Mystery that transcends our understanding and lies hidden in every particular of nature.
Dana Larose
Picked this up on a whim. It's sort of memoir sort of a personal statement of belief by a Jesuit-educated physicist who transitioned through his life from practicing Roman Catholic to what he labels a Catholic agnostic.

A lot of it has to do with how the author finds wonder and mystery in the world without having to attach a deity to it.
eliza
It's different than I thought it would be but enjoyable nonetheless, most of all as an introduction to historical/literary figures engaged with the tension between science and religion. At times curiously repetitive (a Biblical trope?), Raymo did have me reading much more per sitting than I usually intended.
Lisa
Wonderful meditation on how to find spirtual solice in nature. The writing is poetic and mesmerizing and the ideas resonate in those who have not bought into what otherwise organized religions have tried to sell.
Trina
As I consider Chet Raymo one of my favorite writers of fiction and nonfiction, I found this book irresistibly well-written and engaging--though I did not find his essential premise completely convincing.
Mal Gormley
I liked it. A bit repetitive of Raymo's earlier themes. I misplaced my copy about 2/3 through.
Ben
Beautiful and thought provoking.
Pat
A good and thought provoking read.
Amy
Interesting philosophy.
Jenny
read in 2009
Kimberly
A book of Wisdom.
Emiliana Henriquez
Emiliana Henriquez marked it as to-read
Apr 16, 2014
Decadentia
Decadentia marked it as to-read
Apr 13, 2014
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Chet Raymo (born September 17, 1936 in Chattanooga, Tennessee) is a noted writer, educator and naturalist. He is Professor Emeritus of Physics at Stonehill College, in Easton, Massachusetts. His weekly newspaper column Science Musings appeared in the Boston Globe for twenty years, and his musings can still be read online at www.sciencemusings.com.

His most famous book was the novel entitled The Do...more
More about Chet Raymo...
The Dork of Cork Skeptics and True Believers: The Exhilarating Connection Between Science and Religion Chattanooga Soul of the Night: An Astronomical Pilgrimage The Path: A One-Mile Walk Through the Universe

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