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“A Definition of Religion even Seculars can Accept”

Naturalist John Burroughs (1837-1921) wrote many Nature essays from his rustic cabin near the Hudson River in New York. Along with popular stories of birds and woodchucks, farms and forests, he ventured into the wild open lands bordering Science and Religion. Raised by a staunch Baptist father and saintly Irish mother, John was an explorer from early years, curious about his world.

In his books, The Light of Day, Leaf and Tendril, Time and Change, Accepting the Universe and other later works, Burroughs presented his own naturalistic perspective on religious issues and ideas. I find Burroughs’ view of religion and faith intriguing and perhaps exactly what we need. In fact, in my opinion, his definition of religion matches anything doctrines, creeds, sacred books or saintly teachers have handed to us. He presents one viable option for believers and non-believers in the quest for common ground—if they choose to do that.

{See the Asheville Citizen-Times each Saturday and/or read and comment on the columns here}

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