Seasons and Self.
Discourses on Being 'At Home' in Nature. 

Published by Coventry Press, Bayswater. 2018. Paperback. 264 pages. RRP AU$34.95
Rex A. E. Hunt. 

- Review by Rev Dr David Merritt, Progressive Christianity Network of Victoria

The author’s introduction to this book starts with a quote from American author and philosopher Sam Keen: “Whether we continue to talk about God is not so important as whether we retain the sense of wonder which keeps us aware that ours is a holy place.”

Rex Hunt has served contemporary (progressive) Christianity well as leader, speaker and author. This is, I think, his seventh published title.

Most of this book (from page 41) is a collection of addresses and sermons which show his distinctive characteristics of good communication, creative imagination and focus on the real world of people and the universe, particularly the environment on planet earth. Most of the book is interpretations of life offered in the context of liturgy. They are the opposite of dogmatic. They are invitations to explore fresh perceptions and experiences.

The first part of the book is a valuable introduction to his focus on naturalism. At a time when the traditional churches seem hopelessly bogged in supernatural religious beliefs, Rex Hunt’s clear focus on the natural world as all there is provides a clear and challenging alternative: “Religious naturalism, the religious orientation which is the matrix for this book, has two central aspects. One is an appreciation of religion with a view that nature can be a focus of religious attention. The other is a naturalist view of how things happen in the world – in which the natural world is all there is, and that nothing other than natural may cause events in the world.” Page 19. 

The first part of the book should be read as a whole to benefit from the author’s vision and perspective. It is a valuable source to stimulate consideration of the nature of religion in the contemporary world. The later addresses and sermons can be read selectively as particular examples of issues and questions for today.