Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, Vol 11, No 4 (2017)

Natural Born Humans: Putting Culture, Science, and Religion Back Into Nature

Timothy James LeCain
Issued Date: 26 Feb 2018


In recent years, scientists and humanists have begun converging towards a new concept of humanity, one in which human culture, creativity, and power are seen as the product of nature, not its antithesis. Drawing on these insights, I suggest some ways in which scholars might embrace the concept of the ‘natural born human' to better recognize the powerful role of the natural material world in creating the human past and future. If a vital materiality informs every aspect of who we are as humans, then the scientific insights into this material world are not distinct from or contrary to humanism. To the contrary, science might be better understood as a manner of humanism and perhaps even akin to a materially grounded religion. Thus the old divide between science and the humanities might now be closing as we better recognize the inescapable material nature of the human animal in all of its dimensions.

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DOI: 10.1558/jsrnc.32470


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