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Religion & The Order of NatureThe 1994 Cadbury Lectures at the University of Birmingham$
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Seyyed Hossein Nasr

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780195108231

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195108231.001.0001

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The Order of Nature

The Order of Nature

(p.29) 2 The Order of Nature
Religion & The Order of Nature

Seyyed Hossein Nasr

Oxford University Press

The Greek word for order, cosmos, is used to refer to the totality of external reality which is perceptible, while naturalistic philosophers identify with reality as such and religions and religious philosophers consider it to be all that is other than the Divine Principle. This chapter examines the meaning of order in nature, and of necessity the order of nature, not according to the modern scientific view but as treated by various religious traditions that have not only created a human society but also a cosmic ambience imbued with religious significance. These religions, including, Christianity, Shamanism, Hinduism, Confucianism, and Taoism, present a primordial view of the order of nature and man's rapport with the natural world. In certain religious climates such as those of Abrahamic monotheisms, there arises the question of the contingent nature of the world in contrast to God, and also determinism versus free will in relation to the order of nature and our rapport with it.

Keywords:   Christianity, cosmos, nature, order of nature, environmental crisis, determinism, religion, Shamanism, God, Confucianism

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