Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, Vol 1, No 1 (2007); Forum on Religion, Nature and Culture (part I)

KEYNOTE PRESENTATION Connecting with Creation: The Convergence of Nature, Religion, Science and Culture

Stephen R. Kellert
Issued Date: 20 May 2007


This paper argues for the existence of a universal and genetically-encoded human yearning to connect and unite with nature or, writ large, creation. In human society, this yearning is often revealed through the vehicles of science and religion. This is a weak genetic tendency, however, that through the human genius of culture and free will produces widely different versions of science and religion. Nevertheless, this yearning being an expression of biology and the product of human evolution is ultimately bound by its functional and adaptive expression. This perspective implies that not all individual and cultural constructions of science and religion are equally legitimate, some proving dysfunctional and destructive over time. This perspective also advances an ethic for the care and conservation of nature based on a broad understanding of human self-interest.

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DOI: 10.1558/jsrnc.v1i1.25


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