Religion, Science and Pantheism
Religions and pantheisms
Greece and Rome
Religion & science
Ethics & environment
Ceremony & meditation
Earth science & Gaia
In this reading list I have tried to include all the major pantheist thinkers and major texts from East and West, together with essential books on religious philosophy, environment, and science.
This is a personal recommendation list. These are the best books I know of, and they are the ones I use myself. Where possible I have chosen cheap paperback editions.
The books with a hyperlink lead directly to Amazon US or (on the UK page) to Amazon UK. If you want more than one book from this list, do please come back to my bookshop to link to Amazon from here. This is done most easily by right clicking on each link and opening it in a new browser window.
The books (even with postage) will usually cost you less than in a bookshop, and just the same as if you went straight to Amazon, but by buying through the links on this page you will help me to devote a little more of my time to the World Pantheist Movement.
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|Harrison, Paul, Elements of Pantheism, Element
Books, London and New York, 1999.
The only overview of pantheist history, theory and practice in print. Includes a pantheist calendar and almanac. Click here for full description. For other books by Paul Harrison, see below
Levine, Michael, Pantheism, Routledge, London and New York, 1994.
A philosopher's analysis of mainline pantheism. Useful if you're rich enough to afford it.
|McGaa, Ed, Mother Earth
Spirituality, Harper San Francisco, 1990.
Native American texts of eco-spirituality.
Miller, Lee, From the Heart: Voices of the American Indian, Vintage Books, 1996.
First hand accounts of Native American history and culture.
|RadhaKrishnan, S., ed, The Principal
Upanishads, Humanities Press, Atlantic Highlands, 1995.
The Upanishads present an idealistic form of pantheism.
Edgerton, Franklin, The Bhagavad Gita, Harvard Oriental Series, 1994.
Good translation and scholarly introduction.
|De Bary, William, ed., The Buddhist
Tradition, Vintage Books, New York, 1972.
Very useful book of readings, including all schools from Theravada to Zen.
Cleary, Thomas, The Flower Ornament Scripture, Shambhala, Boulder, 1984.
The astonishing scripture that gave rise to Hua-Yen Buddhism. Perhaps the most inspiring of all Buddhist scriptures.
Suzuki, Daisetz, Essays in Zen Buddhism vol 1, Grove Press, New York, 1986. The classic exposition of basic Zen history and concepts.
|Chan, Wing-Tsit, A Sourcebook
of Chinese Philosophy, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1953
A compendious book of important readings
Legge, James, The Texts of Taoism, Dover, 1962.
Contains the Tao te Ching and the Chuang Tzu.
Wong, Eva, Taoism, Shambhala, Boston & London, 1997
A good and simple basic introduction.
Wu, John, Tao Teh Ching, Shambhala, Boston, 1989.
Everyone should have at least one edition of the Tao te Ching, and this is a good one.
Palmer, Martin, The Book of Chuang Tzu, Penguin Arkana, London and New York, 1996. A good readable edition of a work astoundingly rich in earthy wisdom and dazzling style.
|Kahn, Charles, The Art and
Thought of Heraclitus, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1979.
All the surviving fragments of the greatest of all materialist philosophers, with an excellent intro and commentary on each fragment.
Long, A. A. & Sedley, D. N., eds, The Hellenistic Philosophers, volume 1, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1987.
Comprehensive book of readings from Stoic, Epicurean and Skeptic philosophers. Don't be put off by the title.
Barnes, Jonathan, Early Greek Philosophy, Penguin, London and New York, 1987.
Good and exhaustive selections of all the main pre-socratics from Thales to Democritus.
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Penguin, London and New York, 1969.
The classic Stoic text. Superbly written, deeply moving and wise.
Lucretius, On the Nature of the Universe, trs R. E. Latham, Penguin, London and New York, 1994.
A wonderful iconoclastic materialist in the modern mould, but often lyrical about nature and the universe. Very influential on later pantheists.
Plotinus, The Enneads, (abridged) ed John Dillon, 1991.
The greatest statement of emanationist-type neo-platonic pantheism.
|Matt, Daniel, The Essential
Kabbalah, Castle Books, Edison, 1997.
|Ibn Arabi, The Bezels of Wisdom, SPCK, London, 1980.
Ibn Arabi's panentheism is so strong, it verges on pantheism.
|Meister Eckhart, Selected Writings, translated by Oliver Davies, Penguin Books, London and New York, 1994.|
|Bruno, Giordano, Cause,
Principle and Unity, ed., Richard Blackwell, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge,
Basic text, often quite hard going.
Spinoza, Benedict, Ethics , 1995.
The core work of Spinoza's system.
Spinoza, Benedict, A Theologico-Political Treatise, Dover Books, New York, 1951.
More readable and often more powerful than the Ethics.
Toland, John, Pantheistikon, London, 1721, and Letters to Serena, London, 1704.
Difficult to find, but of tremendous historical importance.
Hegel, Georg, The Philosophy of History, Hackett Publishing Co., 1988.
Founding text of what Whitehead turned into process theology.
Wordsworth, William, The Prelude, Penguin, London and New York, 1996
The poetic autobiography of the greatest of the British pantheist poets.
Shelley, The Necessity of Atheism & Other Essays, Freethought Library
Shelley would have been a scientific pantheist had he been alive today.
Shelley, Complete Poems, Modern Library.
Ode to the West Wind is highly pantheistic.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo, Essays and Poems, Library of America College ed, 1996
The essay Nature gives the nub of Emerson's transcendentalist pantheism.
Whitman, Walt, Leaves of Grass, Penguin Books, 1997.
Especially Song of Myself.
Ernst Haeckel, The Riddle of the Universe, Prometheus Books, Buffalo, 1992.
The first modern book of materialist pantheism [Haeckel was also a racist eugenicist, but these ideas are very subdued in The Riddle.]
Robinson Jeffers, Selected Poems, Stanford University Press, 1989.
Jeffers was a poet of raw nature, very close to scientific pantheism.
Calaprice, Alice, The Quotable Einstein, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1996.
An excellent selection including Einstein's pantheistic views on religion.
De Chardin, Teilhard, The Phenomenon of Man, Harper Collins, 1975.
Teilhard was a panentheist rather than a pantheist, but his scientific background makes this stimulating reading. Read with your critical faculties turned to High.
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|Otto, Rudolf, The Idea of
the Holy, trs John Harvey, Oxford University Press, New York, 1968.
The enduring classic about what exactly makes those religious hairs at the back of your neck stand on end.
Hume, David, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, Oxford University Press, New York, 1994.
A wonderful ageless classic of skepticism, full of solid arguments against theism.
|Barlow, Connie, Green Space,
Tackles the problem of bridging the gap between science and meaning. Readable, personal, clear, and accessible.
Davies, Paul, God and the New Physics, Penguin Books, New York and London, 1983.
Davies, Paul, The Mind of God, Penguin Books, New York and London, 1994
Davies' books are full of accessible science, but his interpretation veers towards conscious design at work in the universe.
Ferguson, Kitty, The Fire in the Equations, Bantam Books, New York and London, 1995
Probably the best overview of modern scientists's forays into theology.
Regenstein, Lewis, Replenish the Earth, SCM Press, London, 1991
A full review of the attitude to nature in many religions.
Richardson, W. Mark, Religion and Science, Routledge, New York and London 1996.
A collection covering the history of relations between these two, and modern interactions from cosmology, quantum physics, chaos theory etc.
White, Andrew, The Warfare of Science with Theology
Wonderful classic and epic review of how Christianity impeded all branches of science for more than 1500 years.
|Beatty, Jackson, Principles of
Behavioral Neuroscience, Brown & Benchmark, Dubuque, 1995
Nicely illustrated textbook of how the brain works, essential background.
Churchland, Paul, Matter and Consciousness, MIT Press, Cambridge, 1988.
Good basic materialist position with evidence.
Dennett, Daniel, Consciousness Explained, Little, Brown, Boston & London, 1991.
A consistently physicalist explanation of one of life's great mysteries.
Rey, Georges, Contemporary Philosophy of Mind, Blackwell, Oxford, 1997.
Good survey if you want to know what you are talking about.
|Eysenck, Hans, Explaining the
Unexplained, Prion, London 1997.
Eysenck takes the view that research has shown there's something out there.
Kurtz, Paul, A Skeptic's Handbook of Parapsychology, Prometheus Books, Buffalo, 1985
If this is not still in print, it would be a crying shame. Good documentation on every aspect of ESP claims.
Sagan, Carl, This Demon-Haunted World, Headline, London, 1996.
Sagan's impassioned denunciation of New Age superstition and anti-science.
| Cohen, Michael, Reconnecting
with Nature, Project Nature Connect, Friday Harbor, Washington, 1995.
Using nature as psycho-therapy for stress and other mental problems.
Roszak, Theodore, Ecopsychology, Sierra Club Books, San Francisco, 1995.
Collection of essays on this new approach to linking individual psychology with the health of the environment.
Kabat-Zinn, Jon, Full Catastrophe Living, Dell Publishing, New York, 1990.
Excellent therapy book, based on Zen meditation and awareness, and facing up to reality rather than escaping it.
|MacIntyre, Alasdair, A Short
History of Ethics, Macmillan, 1966.
Very clear and sound survey of a rather murky subject.
Singer, Peter, Animal Liberation, Avon Books, 1991.
Classic campaigning work.
Stone, Christopher, Earth and Other Ethics, Harper & Row, New York, 1987
Leopold, Aldo, A Sand County Almanach, Oxford University Press, New York, 1968.
Devall, Bill and Sessions, George, Deep Ecology, Peregrine Smith Books, Salt Lake City, 1985.
Good basic overview of this influential environmental philosophy.
Sessions, George, ed, Deep Ecology for the 21st Century, Shambhala, Boston, 1995.
Excellent book of readings.
|Ayensu, Edward and Whitfield, Philip, The Rhythms of Life,
Marshall Editions, London 1982.
How living creatures follow the rhythms of the earth. Inspiring science.
Ian Hutton, Stations of the Sun, Oxford University Press, Oxford & New York, 1996.
Detailed survey of calendar customs in the English-speaking world - origins of Easter, Xmas etc.
Richards, E. G., Mapping Time, Oxford University Press, Oxford & New York, 1998.
A very thorough and fascinating study of calendars throughout history.
Roberts, Elizabeth and Amidon, Elias, Earth Prayers, Harper San Francisco, 1991.
If you want to know what to use for pantheist hymns, you might find some here.
Mosley, Ivo, Earth Poems, Harper San Francisco, 1996.
See entry for Earth Prayers.
Woods, Richard, Understanding Mysticism, Image Books, New York, 1980.
Though Woods is a Catholic, this is a very good anthology of studies from all angles.
|Albery, Nicholas, The Natural Death Handbook, Natural death
center, London, 1997.
How to arrange for a natural funeral. If you don't, they'll give you a Christian one.
Blackmore, Susan, Dying to Live, Grafton, London, 1993.
Naturalistic explanation of Near-Death Experiences.
Williamson, John B., and Schneidman, Edwin, Death: Current Perspectives, Mayfield Publishing Company, 1995.
Comprehensive thanatology textbook.
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|Nick Herbert, Quantum
Reality, Anchor Books, New York, 1987
Herbert gives a rundown on at least eight different interpretations of quantum physics. The idea that humans observers create reality is only one of them.
Windley, David, Where Does the Weirdness go?, Basic Books, New York, 1996.
Another down-to-earth book focussing on the crucial but often forgotten question: how come the weirdness does not apply at macro-level?
|Hawking, Stephen, A Brief
History of Time, Bantam Doubleday Dell, 1998.
Massive bestseller more often bought than read.
Barrow, John, & Tipler, Frank, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, Oxford University Press, 1988.
Heavy going but extremely thorough.
Guth, Allan, The Inflationary Universe, Helix Books, 1998.
A very good general rundown on modern cosmology and why Inflation answers many of the problems (and also raises others)
Smolin, Lee, The Life of the Cosmos, Oxford University Press, 1998.
Presents Smolin's theory that multiple universes evolve towards suitability for life.
Blue Dot, Brilliance Corporation, 1994.
Exploring the human place in the universe.
Morrison, David et al, Exploration of the Universe, 7th edition, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Philadelphia 1995.
Good basic textbook.
Morrison, Philip and Phyllis, Powers of Ten,
A visual journey from Quarks to galactic clusters. Great for adults and kids.
Sacred Depths of Nature, Oxford University Press, 1998.
Simple exposition of biology from the origin of life to sex and death, with naturalistic religious responses. Close to Sci Pan.
Suzuki, David, The Sacred Balance, Prometheus Books, Amherst, 1998.
Examines the balance of nature and human's place, with a pantheistic slant.
Wilson, E. O., The Diversity of Life, W. W. Norton, 1993.
|Per Bak, How Nature
Works, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1997.
The science of self-organized criticality.
Ball, Philip, The Self-Made Tapestry, Oxford University Press, Oxford and New York, 1999.
The best survey of natural form since D'Arcy Thompson, full of illustrations.
Gleick, James, Chaos, 1988
|Dennet, Daniel, Darwin's
Dangerous Idea, Penguin Books, London 1995.
Detailed exploration of many facets of Darwinism, icnlduing some outside the realm of biology.
Dawkins, Richard, The Blind Watchmaker, Penguin Books, London, 1988. Showing how design can emerge without a designer.
|Lovelock, James, The Ages of
Gaia, Oxford University Press, London, 1991.
Develops Lovelock's basic Gaia idea further with a history of earth's development.
Lamb, Simon and Sington, David, Earth Story, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1998
An excellent and beautifully illustrated overview of plate tectonics and earth's history as a planet.
Other books by Paul Harrison
|Harrison, Paul, Inside the
Third World, Penguin Books, 1992
A broad survey of major problems and causes of world poverty with a first hand reporting from Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Harrison, Paul, The Third Revolution, Penguin Books, 1994
A comprehensive survey of the world population problem and how it impacts on the environment in all areas from deforestation to climate change..
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