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The wind comforts us as fondly as our mother's arms / The sunlight is like our best friend's recognizing laughter

As regular readers of this blog will know I've recently begun to read Jerome A. Stone's splendid new book "Sacred Nature: The Environmental Potential of Religious Naturalism."

In the first chapter he takes a brief look at a few important early figures of religious naturalism including the Universalist (later Unitarian Universalist) minister Kenneth Patton (1911-1994). As you will discover if you read his potted biography at the link in the last sentence despite being a creative, insightful thinker and supporter of the civil right movement he was, shall we say, not always the most pastorally sensitive of ministers. However, despite this important shortcoming, he was a key figure in articulating within Universalist, and later UU, circles a form of religious naturalism. Perhaps it required such a problematic and forceful character to push through into public consciousness what was, and to some extent still is, a controversial new way of being religious even with the ot…

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