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Weekend Reading: The UU Edition (Part I)

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Given yesterday’s post about the tragedy in Knoxville, I’m going to devote this weekend’s collection of links to the topic of Unitarian Universalism.  We’re not evangelizers, but it just seems appropriate to provide a little information about UUism to anyone who happens to stumble onto my post about Knoxville.  This set of links is general and introductory.  Since I already have several other good links in my queue, I’ll separately post a few links that might be of interest to persons who are already UU-conversant.

  • If you know little or nothing about UUism, one good place to start would be the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Visitors page, which explains that ours is a non-creedal, purposefully diverse religion.  While you’re there, you’ll want to check out the Seven Principles that our congregations affirm and promote: It makes me proud that the first principle is the “inherent worth and dignity of every person.”  (Congregations have begun a reevaluation of the Seven Principles, but I don’t expect them to change much.  Let’s not mess the Seven Principles up, everybody!)  You can also check out the Six Sources from which UUs draw.
  • Several faith traditions are well-represented in UUism.  There are UU Christians, UU Pagans, UU Humanists, UU Buddhists, UU Jews, UU Atheists, and on and on.  You may have seen me describe myself as a non-theistic UU Humanist who’s been influenced particularly by secular Buddhism and liberal Christianity.  That’s the kind of mix you’ll find in UUs.  Anyway, the UUA’s Visitors Section has interesting essays on several of the faith traditions.  Just check the link in this bulleted section.
  • The Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashua, New Hampshire, offers on its website a book called 100 Questions That Non-Members Ask About Unitarian Universalism by John Sias.  Perhaps I should’ve quoted one particular Q&A in yesterday’s post:

    Q: How do you explain that bad things happen?

    A: We have no religion-based explanation of life’s tragedies, horrors and heartbreaks.  Life can be senselessly lost, diminished and demeaned in many ways but most UUs do not attribute these losses to the will of God.  Instead, most UUs agree we live in an indifferent universe.  Rather than try to explain life’s inexplicable tragedies, we try to help people when such tragedies strike, and do all we can to restore them to hope again.

  • Other good introductions to UUism include The Unitarian Universalist Pocket Guide, ed. by William Sinkford, and A Chosen Faith: An Introduction to Unitarian Universalism, by John A. Buehrens and Forrest Church, two of UUism’s most prominent ministers.  When you read about UUism, keep in mind that UUs probably do not agree about everything that a particular author says.  A few pages in one of Buehrens’s chapters in A Chosen Faith, for instance, gave me real pause as a Humanist.  I did more reading, though, and came to the conclusion that my own views were squarely within the UU mainstream, whatever that is.
  • If you’re interested in learning more about UUism, find a congregation.  Or if you live in a place without a UU congregation, check out the Church of the Larger Fellowship, which serves the needs of UUs who are isolated by geography or circumstance.

Written by Jimmy

August 3rd, 2008 at 12:40 pm

Posted in Links,Religion

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