Religious Naturalism and Process Theology
Leslie A. Muray and Jay McDaniel
God is not only the Source of Breath, but also breath itself. Our breath—like our God—is something we cannot see or touch, but is our very essence. Our connection to life is through this intangible but constant presence. With breath, we can run, learn, love and live. Without it we become mere corpses. Taking in and breathing out, we share with other living things in the visible participation in the rhythm of life. God is never farther away than the next breath. And never less reliable than the air that we breathe.
-- Rabbi Bradley Artson, Thirty Six Lures for Feeling
Radical Empiricism (continuation of longer version)
This brings us to a very important question pertaining to the nature of knowledge itself. The words “empirical” and “empiricism” refer to “experience.” The general idea is that knowledge comes through experience. But often, in the case of science, the experience at issue is restricted to one kind of experience, namely visual experience and the quantifiable data to which it provides access. It is as if a person is walking through a field of trees and flowers, but wants to know the flowers only by seeing them, not by touching them or smelling them or hearing the sounds they create when the wind blows against the leaves on the trees, or by feeling their beauty. Do these other kinds of experiences provide knowledge, too?  Scientific empiricism says No. Only one kind of experience -- a certain kind of detached, visual observation -- yields knowledge.
To be sure, this limitation contradicts what we now know about intelligence in the sciences. Howard Gardner, a specialist in the cognitive science of education at Harvard, speaks of eight kinds of intelligence that coalesce in the lives of people and that are important in education: mathematical-logical, verbal-linguistic, visual-spatial, musical-rhythmic, bodily-kinesthetic, empathic-emotional, introspective, and naturalistic. He proposes, and most primary school teachers well understand, that each individual is a weaving together of these many forms of experience. Detached visual perception is one, and only one, starting point for understanding.
What is needed is a more radical empiricism, a phrase offered by William James. While acknowledging that sense experience is usually a dimension of most experience, radical empiricists propose that there are different kinds of experience that yield knowledge and that there is a depth and intensity to experience that is not exhausted by the quantifiable dimensions of sense experience. For many people most of the time, experience is primarily the experience of feelings with sense experience secondary and derivative. In the words of Jerome A. Stone, this is “a generous empiricism.”
Knowing by Listening
Perhaps, at least in human experience, auditory experience can play an important role in widening the sense of knowing. This is what one of us -- Jay McDaniel -- proposes in his book Gandhi's Hope. Although he does not use the term “radical empiricism,” he distinguishes between an “acoustic” way of knowing and a “visual” way of knowing, thus providing a summary of the issue I have been discussing. In his words:
The “listener” and the “listened to” cannot be sharply separated. The universe is not simply a visual universe; it is even more deeply a sound-sensitive universe, a sonoral universe in which the very reality of sound offers a metaphor for understanding the deeper nature of things. By sound, in this context, I do not mean sound as understood by the natural sciences. I do not mean the striking of sound waves against the ear drum, but rather the experience of hearing from a first-person perspective, however this hearing might be further analyzed in terms of physics and chemistry. Consider listening to music in a live concert. If we close our eyes while listening, we realize that the sound of the music is inside us and outside us at the same time, such that we would have a difficult time saying exactly where it is. It is present in us, and yet it is also beyond us. It is this sensation—this feeling of something being a part of us and more than us—that is at the heart of an acoustic vision of reality. I would suggest that this experience of something within us and beyond us is revelatory of the very nature of reality.
In light of this idea of an acoustic way of knowing, and the more general critique of shallow empiricism offered above, we turn to the idea of a religious naturalism and the controversies surrounding it.  In this historical controversy, process thought has been on the side of a more generous empiricism.
The kind of empiricism that restricts knowledge narrowly to sense experience is often described as epistemological reductionism. Parallel to it, in the minds of many, is another kind of reductionism: metaphysical reductionism. Here metaphysics is the activity of trying to develop a general worldview -- a general understanding of the way things truly are -- that is consistent, coherent, and adequate to the facts of experience.
A metaphysical reductionist is someone who views the world on the analogy of a lifeless, mindless, inert machine made up of disposable parts, the activities of which are entirely determined by predecessor events and thereby lacking any self-creative agency of their own. Sometimes this is called a mechanistic worldview.
An example is a Hungarian chemist friend for whom everything, from the most sublime feelings to the most admirable accomplishment, can be explained totally in terms of constitutive chemical reactions! Better known examples are Francis Crick’s claim that the aim of contemporary molecular biology is to explain everything in biology in terms of chemistry and physics; Jacques Monod’s assertion that anything that is can be explained strictly in terms of mechanical interactions characterized by chance and randomness; E.O. Wilson’s advocacy of the sufficiency of biological origins and gene structure to explain human behavior; and, perhaps best known, Richard Dawkins and his emphatic assertion of the notion that human (and non-human) activity can be explained strictly and completely in terms genetic survival, of the “selfish gene.”
If naturalism refers to this kind of naturalism -- that is, metaphysical reductionism in which the universe is reduced to a lifeless machine -- then process thought is by no means naturalistic. It is anti-naturalistic.
But there is indeed another kind of naturalism, which can be called neo-naturalism. Here we follow the lead of Bernard E. Meland, Bernard M. Loomer, and Daniel Day Williams and other process thinkers. For them, in a fashion typical of all forms of naturalism, the universe is best understood in terms of a unified melody based on experience, but the universe is by no means mechanistic. For them as for so many scientists today, the universe is a living, throbbing, creative, constituted by interdependent and interrelated parts.
This means that, for neo-naturalists, the very word "nature" needs to be widened beyond mechanistic intimations. "Nature" is not a closed system with an already defined future but rather an ongoing journey, replete with an incredibly rich number of interrelated parts, both large and small, and with a future as yet not completely determined. In envisioning nature in this way, we find ourselves at home with the work of the physicist Leo Smolin, who proposes, not only that we live in an evolving universe the future of which is open, but also that the laws of nature are evolving. See the article in this website: Are the Laws of Nature Evolving? In that article, what Jay McDaniel calls naturalism type three is an instance of what, in this article, we call neo-naturalism.
If nature is indeed an evolving journey, a question emerges: Is there a unity to the journey? Is there a Journey within which the journeys unfold? For process thinkers like us, the answer is Yes. We speak of God as the Journey within which the journeys of the universe unfold, and we believe that God, thus understood, is an ultimate expression of the ways of the universe, not an ultimate exception. If everywhere around us and within us we find interconnectedness, then God is the ultimate exemplification to such interconnectedness. Influenced by Whitehead's naturalism, we find ourselves convinced of the idea that this Journey is, like all other actualities, filled with feeling and awareness, and thus that God can be known as a Subject and not simply an object of inference. God is experienced in a variety of ways: as a call forward, as a light of awakening, as a felt presence in the heart of the soul. Thus our own perspective is itself a kind of naturalism: namely Naturalism Type Three as described in Are the Laws of Nature Evolving?
But we also know that our own form of naturalism is but one of many. While process thought is usually identified with the philosophies of Alfred North.Whitehead and Charles Hartshorne, we think it best to extend the family lineage of process thinkers to include the likes of Henri Bergson and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Both are, to our minds, neo-naturalists: that is, naturalists who avoid mechanistic worldviews and epistemological reductionism, and who view the universe as a vibrant, evolving, organic whole.
A Little Intellectual History
In the world of process thinking, it was Bernard Loomer who coined the term “neo-naturalism,” identifying it with Whiteheadian process theology.  Another process thinker, Bernard Meland, then gives eloquent renditions of neo-naturalism, especially in contrasting the mechanistic Newtonian-Cartesian worldview with that of emergent evolution and quantum physics which undergird his version of neo-naturalism. Another process thinker, Daniel Day Williams, does something similar in his creative reinterpretation of the Christian tradition that is a form of a neo-naturalism of the process variety.
All three were influenced in various ways by Whiteheadian process thought. However, Meland has been described as “a rebel among process theologians,” approaching Whiteheadian metaphysics and the doctrine of God with more tentativeness than has been the case among process theologians on the rationalist and speculative side of the process tradition. Of the three, Loomer was probably the one who used Whiteheadian process thought most extensively, making it the centerpiece and guiding vision of the University of Chicago Divinity School. Even in the late phase of his life and thought when he came to identify God with the totality of the world and include ambiguity in the very being of God, he did so at least in part to render the Whiteheadian doctrine of God more consistent. Early in his career, the primary influence on Williams was Henry Nelson Wieman. Later, it was clearly Whitehead, although the influence of Wieman never disappears.
Process theologians such as John B. Cobb, Jr., Kenneth Cauthen, David Ray Griffin, Marjorie Suchocki, Catherine Keller, Nancy R. Howell, and others too numerous to mention, whether or not they use the term, have carried on the tradition of neo-naturalism. Perhaps paramount among these neo-naturalists is David Ray Griffin. Rejecting supernaturalism as well as reductionistic, mechanistic, sensationist naturalism in favor a process naturalism (what we call neo-naturalism), Griffin makes extensive arguments for a naturalistic theism based on Whitehead’s metaphysics. 
Religious and Non-Religious Naturalism
All of the thinkers above are religious naturalists. But not all neo-naturalists are religious naturalist. For example, the physicist Leo Smolin is a neo-naturalist in his advocacy of what he calls naturalism type two, which parallels our own organic view of the unfolding universe. Like us and other process thinkers, he believes that the universe is a journey, but he does not believe in a Journey in which the journey unfolds. He is not a religious naturalist. What distinguishes religious naturalists from neo-naturalists is the claim of religious naturalists to the effect “…that there is no ontologically distinct and superior realm (such as God, soul, or heaven) that grounds, explains, or gives meaning or completion to this world.” Or as Donald A. Crosby writes:
For the religious naturalist, if anything exists necessarily, it is the natural world itself. It gives rise to, sustains, and explains all else that exists. No appeal need be made to anything beyond or above the inexhaustible, self-sufficient splendor and providingness of the world itself. Nature in some shape or form is all there is now, ever has been, or ever shall be. It spawns and supports all its living creatures, including human beings. For the religious naturalist, nature or some aspect of nature is also the ultimate source of value and meaning for human life. It or an aspect of it is therefore the appropriate focus of religious faith and dedication.
There is considerable diversity among religious naturalists, including their definition of “religious.” Some process thinkers -- Jay McDaniel, for example -- does not think that religion requires attention, insofar as there are forms of life in the world, often called religious, in which the experience of the sacred is not very important: Zen Buddhism in its way and Confucianism in its way, for example. See his Sociology and the Sacred.
Nevertheless, many religious naturalists find the category of the sacred helpful in understanding religion, and they define it in various ways. For example, Jerome Stone defines the sacred as “…events, things, and processes that are of overriding importance and also are not under our control or within our power to manipulate.” Religion is the self-conscious acknowledgement of the sacred, of the presence of the sacred in all things. Donald Crosby seeks to develop “a religion of nature,” while eschewing the category of the sacred, perhaps because it is so often conjoined with images of a supernatural God. 
Types of Religious Naturalism
It gets confusing. Jerome A. Stone articulates a helpful typology of religious naturalists:
1. Those who identify God with the creative process of the universe (Matthews, Wieman, Karl Peters, possibly William Dean; Frederick Ferré).
2. Those who identify God with the totality of the universe (Spinoza, Alexander, Foster, the later Loomer).
3. Those who do not use the term God but may still be deemed religious (Goodenough, Crosby, Drees). 
In terms of the historical figures of the Chicago School we have dealt with previously, Wieman, Wieman’s is prototypical of what they have in common. His thoroughgoing naturalism and empiricism are summarized by the way in which he defined the religious problem: “What operates in human life to transform man as he cannot transform himself, to save him from evil; to bring him to the greatest good, provided that he give himself to that transforming power with that wholeness of the self which is called religious faith?” Meland, not only during his “mystical naturalist” phase early in his career but also later, can be considered a religious naturalist. Loomer certainly was a religious naturalist late in life as he came to identify God with the totality of the universe, the web of life itself.
So what then distinguishes religious naturalism from process thought? Here is how Jerome Stone sees things:
“…the God of process theology, while deeply immersed within this world, is so ontologically distinct and superior as to fall outside of naturalism as I understood it. To conceive of an entity which is surpassable by none but itself is not naturalist. Immanentist, yes, naturalist no.
Stone's phrasing is instructive. He speaks of the God of process theology as ontologically distinct from the world and superior to the world. The question at hand is: What do these phrases mean?
Is God Distinct and Superior?
Two meanings are imaginable for ontologically distinct: ontologically different and categoreally unparalleled.
On the one hand, in process theology God has agency that is different from the agency of atoms and molecules, people and porpoises, stars and galaxies, just as they have agency different from one another. In this sense God is ontologically different, and so is everything else. We live in a universe of multiple agents, one of which is the Journey which feels and responds to all journeys.
But ontologically different can also mean categoreally unparalleled, in which case the categories used to understand God would lack any parallel to the categories used to understand the rest of the natural world. In this sense, God is not ontologically different. For process thinkers, the idea that God is a lure to creative transformation in human life does indeed have parallels to the idea that human beings can be lures for one another. The idea that God feels the feelings of all living beings likewise has parallels with the idea that we humans can feel the feelings of one another. The constructive analogy of human beings and that of God do not belong to different ontological types. There are analogies. God is not wholly other.
And what of superior? If superior suggests something like military might, then in process theology God is not superior to other agents in the universe. Indeed, in some ways, God may even be inferior. God has no hands other than our own, and if we fail to love one another, God cannot stop us. But if superior means superior in love, then the God to whom process theology points is indeed superior to the human beings and perhaps other living beings on the planet, because the love of God is infinite and all-embracing whereas, so often, our love is partial and blinded by the limitations of our genes, our past decisions, and the regions we occupy in space. But this kind of superiority is not offensive or competitive, it is inviting. It is an ideal we can rightly seek to approximate in our lives. And, who knows, perhaps sometimes we do!
Our suggestion, then, is that Stone is partly right and partly wrong. If ontologically distinct means categoreally unparalleled and completely non-analogous, then the God of process theology is not ontologically distinct. But if ontologically distinct means an agent among agents, then the God of process theology is ontologically distinct, and so are all other agents. And if superior means superior in love, then the God of process theology is indeed superior. But if superior means authoritarian or superior in unilateral power, then the God of process theology is not superior and, by some measure, even inferior. Dictators have more unilateral power than God, but not more love.
The Nature of Nature
We suspect these issues turn back to the question of nature and the nature of nature.
The December 2003 issue of Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science carries published articles devoted to the theme, “Is Nature Enough?: The Thirst for Transcendence.” The papers were delivered the IRAS conference with the same theme at Star Island in 2002. In the journal John F. Haught argues that “no,” nature is not enough, not sufficient in itself, not to meet our spiritual needs, as an explanatory principle, or as an accurate worldview. He accepts methodological naturalism but questions the appropriateness of metaphysical naturalism. With regard to the latter, he distinguishes between “hard” and “soft” core metaphysical naturalism, hard core referring to reductionistic materialist naturalism while soft core includes the religious naturalists.
To explain his point, Haught proceeds to argue that explanations are many layered. He uses the example of a pot of boiling water and somebody asking for an explanation of why the water is boiling. One possible explanation would be in of terms atoms, molecules, and the interaction of chemicals. But that would not preclude asserting that the water is boiling because I wanted to have a cup of tea—a higher order of explanation that includes purposiveness. He also maintains that naturalism is not sufficient in itself to explain the intelligibility of the universe.Haught’s defense of the idea of layers of explanation is a coherent and intelligible response to reductionism. To our mind, he does not intend to use the language of layers in a supernaturalistic way.
Jerome A. Stone also answers “no” to the question of whether or not nature is sufficient to explain everything. However, for him, nature is all there is, as we have seen. And that is the starting point for his version of religious naturalism and its development of the notion of a non-theistic, situational transcendence.
We use this conversation about the question of whether or not nature is enough to develop our own constructive proposal. Consider John Cobb’s response to Bernard M. Loomer’s “The Size of God.” For Cobb, the question is “…whether, on the one hand God is to be identified with the world or, whether on the other hand, we identify God with some aspect, or cause of some aspect in the world, of what goes on in the world.” Loomer opts for the totality of the world while Cobb opts for certain features of the world. Cobb sees Loomer in effect not really identifying God with the totality of things but with certain features of the world, i.e. life-enhancing processes and the growth of qualitative richness and with an important ever-present reminder of the interconnectedness of all things.
Identifying God with the world, along with Loomer, might also be called non-theistic naturalism. Here the adjective "theistic" refers to the idea that God is an agent among agents in a universe consisting of many agents. An identification of God with the totality of the universe, pure and simple, is a rejection of theism, thus understood. Put positively, it is an affirmation that the interconnected web of cosmic unfolding, with its beauty and horror, its violence and order, its multiplicity and connections, is the sum and substance of reality and thus worthy of the name "God," if the word "God" is a name for the totality in which we live and move and have our being. God is not an agent among agent but rather the totality of agents. There are many people of good mind and heart who find this a deeply meaningful perspective. They are non-theistic naturalists.
For our part, we are using the word "God" differently. We are using it to name, not the totality of the universe as such, but rather a dimension of the universe which can be experienced in human life and in the surrounding universe, but that is not reducible to the universe per se. It is not so much the totality of the universe as it is the boundless whole of the universe, understood as a Life -- a Journey -- in whose heart the universe unfolds.
We see the presence of this Life in many ways, one of which is what one process thinker, William Dean, calls “a tropism toward complexity.” By this he is referring to the observable fact that, despite the tendency of the universe in our cosmic epoch or any other to unfold in a purely random way, there seems to be within the unfolding universe a tendency toward new forms of order over time and also toward novelty. For example in our cosmic epoch there was an evolution toward atoms and then molecules, toward stars and then galaxies, and this evolution continues even today. Amid the evolving process we see over time greater forms of complexity and more diverse kinds of beings coming into existence, building upon their predecessors yet adding something new. Moreover, in human and other forms of animal life on our planet, it seems that this lure toward ordered forms of novelty and novel forms or order has given rise to a plethora of forms of animal life, each with remarkable sentience of their own, including human life. It is almost as if, amid the creativity of the universe, there is a beckoning or calling presence, and we speak of God as this presence. Additionally, this presence seems to dwell within each human life as a lure toward well-being or wholeness, relative to the situation at hand. Once basic needs for survival are met, it is a lure toward the twin virtues to which Buddhism points: wisdom and compassion. We find ourselves trusting in this lure and the placeless place -- the dimension -- from which it comes. We speak of this lure as God's calling presence.
For us, though, there is more than this. In moments of tenderness and compassion, when we feel the feelings of others in empathic ways, it seems to us that we touch a kind of communion that dwells deep within the nature of things as a kind of holiness: a Holy Communion if you will. It feels as if the universe itself is not entirely beyond good and evil but contains within it, in some way, a kind of goodness, a kind of love, that is sensitive to all life and shares in it. We speak of this as God's love.
In short, the word "God" names this calling presence and the love that is so often sensed, and also the very act of creative transformation, of being changed for the good in circumstances at hand, in redemptive and resurrecting ways. This does not mean that we ourselves agree on precisely how to further envision things.
Degrees of Personhood
One of us -- Jay McDaniel -- leans toward the idea that the God who loves and calls is deeply intimate and personal, a Thou with self-consciousness and self-awareness, albeit everywhere at once and not located in a body. While one of us -- Les Muray -- leans toward the idea that the God who loves and calls is not as self-conscious and self-aware as say, a human being in a moment of tenderness or horror. Within the horizons of theistic naturalism there is a continuum of possibilities. Still, we find ourselves comfortable with the idea that, when it comes to God, there is something more than the totality as such. There is a guiding presence and a loving presence, rightly described as a Who and not simply a What.
While some may speak of this as supernatural, it seems to us as easily described as ultra-natural, because there is nothing unnatural about it. However we close with a recognition that what is most important is not the way of conceiving things but rather the way of living and responding to the world in wise and loving ways. And we close with a recognition that supernaturalists can be as wise and loving, if not more, than we ourselves.
The Wisdom of Ambiguity
For us, part of the wisdom toward which people are called is to recognize the ambiguity in life. If there is a mutual immanence of all things, if God is the sensitivity and responsiveness of the universe, God cannot escape the ambiguity and destructiveness of the world. Thus, ambiguity remains a characteristic of the world. Yet, with the drive toward creativity and novelty as well as sensitivity and responsiveness, particular ambiguities or expressions of ambiguity are creatively transformed. Destructiveness as a prelude is part and parcel of creation.
Which brings us back to the idea of God being the sensitivity and responsiveness of the universe. To have a sense that we are cared about to the point where our lives make a difference to the lives of others, to be loved, is life giving, life nurturing, empowering, liberating. Studies have shown that when infants and even older children do not receive such loving care, they live emotionally stunted lives, get ill, and even die. We need a sense of our lives mattering not just to us but to others who stand with us through life’s ebb and flow, its joys and sorrows. Our lives matter to the Journey of universe, in spite of its ambiguity. When we die, we literally go back to the universe. In a real sense, we get “recycled” into the Journey. And the Journey of the universe “remembers” us, carrying the memory of our lives and all lives in the deep memory. It is possible that we ourselves continue as well, as souls in process. This would be natural, too. But part of nature, even as our souls may continue, is knowing that our lives count to something more, something deeper and richer, something larger. Some speak of this something as the Glory of God. We call it the Journey.
Knowing that our lives matter, that we are cared about, whether by a cat, fellow humans or the universe is life-giving. The sensitivity and responsiveness of the universe in its nourishment is the Holy Spirit, “the lord and giver of life.” The Holy Spirit is as natural as the wind and as intimate as the breath. It is the breathing within our own breathing. Another process thinker, Rabbi Bradley Artson, puts it beautifully: God is not only the Source of Breath, but also breath itself. Our breath—like our God—is something we cannot see or touch, but is our very essence. Our connection to life is through this intangible but constant presence. With breath, we can run, learn, love and live. Without it we become mere corpses. Taking in and breathing out, we share with other living things in the visible participation in the rhythm of life. God is never farther away than the next breath. And never less reliable than the air that we breathe.
When people take their final breaths in this life, when there does not seem to be a next breath, the theistic naturalist naturally asks: Is another breath possible? Some process theologians -- Jay McDaniel among them -- trust that the journey continues after death, for all living beings, until the peace sought is found, after which the heart and mind and soul can be reabsorbed into the ongoing Journey. Others -- Les Muray, himself an Episcopal priest -- is less sure. In a letter to a friend he writes:
After my father died, my mother and I decided to have two nights of visitation. We arrived a little bit early the first night and just sat with him as he lay in his coffin. The funeral home was playing sounds from a forest. I know it was a bit manipulative but I nevertheless tried to listen to every single sound and got engrossed in the symphony of the forest. I had a powerful intuitive sense that my father had gone back to the universe. Atman had become Brahman.
These words -- going back to the universe -- touch the depths of it. Was the universe the living whole with a life of its own? Was it the God in whom Jay McDaniel believes? Was it the totality of finite entities as an unfolding whole? Was it the God in which the non-theistic naturalist believes? Was it something or someone in between, as Les Muray believes? Are they all wrong? Was it a supernatural God, absolutely mysterious to any categories of human understanding, yet more real than it all? We find ourselves saying that, at some level, it doesn't matter. What matters is that, one way or another, people live from the breathing that is available to them, one breath at a time, in whatever wisdom and compassion they can muster, one moment at a time, somehow trustful that, amid all the ambiguity, there is something good and meaningful and hopeful, that is never quite captured by any ism at all, whether naturalism or supernaturalism. It is the world beyond isms to which the father returns, and the mothers and sisters and brothers, too. Also the animals and plants and mountains and stars. Always returning, moment by moment.
Notes for Longer Version
Jerome A.Stone,“Is Nature Enough? Yes,” Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science , Vol. 38 No. 4, December 2003, p.784; Jerome A. Stone, Religious Naturalism Today (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2008) 1.
 Steven Weinberg, The First Three Minutes (New York: basic Books, 1977) 144.
 Rebel Without a Cause, 1955.
 Jay McDaniel, Gandhi’s Hope: Learning from Other Religions as Path to Peace (Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books) 34.
 Jerome A. Stone, The Minimalist Vision of Transcendence (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1992) 111-168.
 McDaniel, Gandhi’s Hope, 35.
 See Stone, Religious Naturalism Today, 131-133; See also, Leslie A. Muray, “Poet in the Scientist: The Mystical Naturalism of Bernard E. Meland,” Encounter, Vol. 68, No. 2, Spring 2007, 19-31.
 Ian G. Barbour, Religion and Science: Historical and Contemporary Issues (San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1997) 78-79.
 Ibid. 79.
 Ibid. 79-80.
 Ibid. 243-244, 255-256.
 Leslie A. Muray, An Introduction to the Process Understanding of Science, Society, and the Self: A Philosophy for Modern Humanity (Lewiston, New York, The Edwin Mellen Press, 1988) 14.
 Bernard M. Loomer, “Neo-Naturalism and Neo-Orthodoxy,” The Journal of Religion, Volume XXVIII No.2, April 1948, 79-91.
 Bernard E. Meland, The Realities of Faith: The Revolution in Cultural Forms (New York: Oxford University Press) 75-136.
 Daniel Day Williams, “Christianity and Naturalism: An Informal Statement,” Union Seminary Quarterly Review, Vol.12, No. 4, May 1957, 47-53.
 Tyron Inbody, The Constructive Theology of Bernard Meland: Postliberal Empirical Realism (Atlanta, Georgia: Scholars Press) 143-173; Tyron Inbody, “Bernard Meland as Process Theologian,” Encounter, Vol.45, No. 4, Autumn 1984, 333-346.
 See Daniel Day Williams, God’s Grace and Man’s Hope (New York: Harper and Brothers) 1949.
 David Ray Griffin, Reenchantment without Supernaturalism: A Process Philosophy of Religion (Ithaca, New York: Cornel University Press); David Ray Griffin, Religion and Scientific Naturalism: Overcoming the Conflicts (Albany, New York: State University of New York Press, 2000).
 Stone, Religious Naturalism Today, 1; Stone, “Is Nature Enough? Yes”.784.
 Donald A. Crosby, Living with Ambiguity: Religious Naturalism and the Menace of Evil (Albany, New York: State University of New York Press, 2008) 3.
 Stone, “Is Nature Enough? Yes”, 785.
 Crosby, Living with Ambiguity;  Donald A. Crosby, A Religion of nature, ((Albany, New York: State University of New York Press, 2002).
 Stone, Religious Naturalism Today, .6.
 Henry Nelson Wieman, “Naturalism” in Marvin Halverson and Arthur A. Cohen, eds., A Handbook of Christian Theology (New York: Meridian Books, Inc.) 243-246.
 Bernard E. Meland, Modern Man’s Worship : A Search for Reality in Religion (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1934); Bernard E. Meland, Fallible Forms and Symbols: Discourses on Method for a Theology of Culture (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1976).
 Bernard M. Loomer, “The Size of God” in William Dean and Larry E. Axel, The Size of God: The Theology of Bernard Loomer in Context (Macon, Georgia: Mercer University Press, 1987) 20-51.
 Stone, Religious Naturalism Today, .8.
 John F. Haught, “Is Nature Enough? No,” Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science, Vol.38, No.4, December 2003, 770-771.
 Ibid. 770.
 Ibid. 774-778.
 Ibid. .775-776.
 Ibid. . 778-781.
 Stone, “Is Nature Enough? Yes,”.783.
 John B. Cobb, Jr., “Response to Loomer” William Dean and Larry E. Axel, The Size of God: The Theology of Bernard Loomer in Context (Macon, Georgia: Mercer University Press, 1987) 52-55.
 Ibid. 52.
 Ibid. 53-54.
 William D. Dean, American Religious Empiricism (Albany, New York: State University of New York Press, 1986).
43 One of the most perceptive discussions of this issue can be found in Nancy Frankenberry, “Classical Theism, Panentheism and Pantheism: On the Relation between God Construction and Gender Construction,” Zygon:Journal of Religion and Science 28/1 (March 1993).
 Robert C. Neville is the major exception.