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Reading the Book of Nature: A Hermeneutical Account of Nature for Philosophical Theology

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How can we read nature as a revelatory text? This essay argues for a re-opening of the Book of Nature for philosophical theology. I first will summarize the traditional use of the metaphor of the Book of Nature. But this “book” was closed when science discarded the metaphor of divine authorship as unnecessary. We can re-open nature as a text by discovering the textuality of nature, which in turn presents a reemergence of text itself. From this, we can point to a revelatory nature of nature. The import of the text of nature comes from a reflexive, meditative reading, which sees the way in which the world of the text—and simultaneously the world as text—interacts with/as the world of the reader. The world that we encounter through reading is the very world of our existence—we are encountering the world that forms the foundation of the world from which we read.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Philosophy and Religion, Ohio Northern University;, Email: f-clingerman@onu.edu

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