All natural

seasons and selfReview by David Merritt

Book | Seasons and Self. Discourses on being ‘At Home’ in Nature | Rex A. E. Hunt

The author’s introduction to this book starts with a quote from American author and philosopher Sam Keen: “Whether we continue to talk about God is not so important as whether we retain the sense of wonder which keeps us aware that ours is a holy place.”

Rex Hunt has served contemporary (progressive) Christianity well as a leader, speaker and author. This is his seventh published title.

Most of this book is a collection of addresses and sermons which show Hunt’s good communication, creative imagination and focus on the real world of people and the universe, particularly the environment on planet Earth.

Hunt’s interpretations of life are offered in the context of liturgy. The opposite of dogmatic, they are invitations to explore fresh perceptions and experiences.

The first part of the book is a valuable introduction to his focus on naturalism. When traditional churches seem hopelessly bogged in supernatural beliefs, Hunt’s clear focus on the natural world as all there is provides a challenging alternative:

He writes: “Religious naturalism, the religious orientation which is the matrix for this book, has two central aspects. One is an appreciation of religion with a view that nature can be a focus of religious attention. The other is a naturalist view of how things happen in the world – in which the natural world is all there is, and that nothing other than natural may cause events in the world.”

The first part of the book lays out the author’s vision and perspective.

The latter section of addresses and sermons can be read selectively as particular examples of issues and questions for consideration. Seasons and Self is a valuable resource to stimulate consideration of the nature of religion in the contemporary world.

Rev David Merritt is secretary of the Progressive Christian Network of Victoria.

Available from Coventry Press,  http://www.coventrypress.com.au

RRP $34.95.

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