Are there new, emerging forms of nature reverencing religion? If so, what might these look like? This paper seeks to answer this question by drawing on both Bron Taylor's Dark Green Religion (and especially his nature religion schema found therein that includes the category of “Gaian Earth Religion”) and the work of environmental philosopher Donald Crosby (and his category of “religion of nature”). I argue that science writers like Edward Wilson and Carl Sagan, along with ecopoets like Mary Oliver, are creating a new mythopoesis of post-supernaturalistic nature religion. I also look at the complex interaction of religion/science and the role reverence for nature plays in this dialogue. I argue that the nature religion schema put forth by Taylor and the “physisology” put forth by Crosby can help us better theorize emerging strands of post-supernaturalistic religious-like sentiments and narratives that continue to grow 150 years after Darwin's theory revolutionized both science and religion.
BrysonJ. Scott. 2000. “Seeing the West Side of Any Mountain: Thoreau and Contemporary Ecological Poetry” in SchneiderRichard J. (ed) Thoreau’s Sense of Place: Essays in American Environmental Writing. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press pp. 133–145.
GottliebRoger. 2001. “Spiritual Deep Ecology and World Religions: A Shared Fate, A Shared Task” in BarnhillDavid LandisGottliebRoger (eds) Deep Ecology and the World’s Religions. New York: State University of New York Press pp. 17–33.
See Chidester and Linenthal (1995) Introduction. Interestingly the debate between science and religion as well as the current dispute of viewing this world as sacred for its own non-supernaturalistic intrinsic meaning versus seeing this type of worldview about the world as being atheism/not religious is also evidence that supports Chidester's and Linenthal's central thesis that religion and the production of religious space and meanings is an inherently political act and struggle.