The Religious Naturalism of Henry Nelson Wieman

Authored by: Cedric L. Heppler

The Routledge Handbook of Religious Naturalism

Print publication date:  February  2018
Online publication date:  February  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138292079
eBook ISBN: 9781315228907
Adobe ISBN:


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In his 1917 doctoral thesis for the Philosophy Department of Harvard University, Henry Nelson Wieman (1884–1975) wrote in three sentences what I would call the epitome of his entire career:

The growth of consciousness reaches its acme when the antagonism of a great many interests forces the mind to take cognizance of that concrete field of time and space in which they all operate. All this is multiplied many times when the conflicting interests consist of those total systems which constitute human individuals or groups. There is no situation in which creative interest is so greatly stimulated and so abundantly satisfied as in those interactions between individuals which arise out of the necessity of adjusting themselves to one another.

(Wieman 1985: 132)

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