Abstract and Keywords
This chapter provides a sociological perspective on natural theology. It argues that understanding natural theology means grasping what Freud referred to as a ‘pre-animist’ form of religiosity, one that was widespread long before spirits became separate beings which inhabited rocks and trees as well as people, and even longer before spirits became gods with their own character, will, and divinity. Calling this a religion is a bit anachronistic; rather it is a form of the sacred in which being itself is considered and felt to be miraculous. The discussions cover the time and place of the sacred; the radical vulnerability to the spirits stemming from the connection to the cosmos and to other souls; the dread of time; the limits of natural religion; various conditions in modern societies that may raise demands for the sacred; and the wisdom of Columba.
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