“One needful thing”, Part 3: Letting go of the side of the pool

In Part 1, I traced the development of Unitarianism since the early 19th century to the present and argued that UUism has, since its inception, been characterized by what William Channing called a “too partial culture of the mind.”  In Part 2, I argued that the “one needful thing” for contemporary humanistic UUism is a [Read More...]

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“One Needful Thing”, Part 2: UUism and the Transformative Experience

In Part 1, I traced the development of Unitarianism since the early 19th century to the present and argued that UUism has, since its inception, been characterized by what William Channing called a “too partial culture of the mind.”  I hinted that the “one needful thing” for UUism is enthusiasmos or personal abandonment, which I [Read More...]

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An infant dedication and second thoughts on Unitarian Universalism

Last week, I went to town on the excessive rationalism and the lack of “poetic enthusiasm” (William Ellery Channing) in the Unitarian Universalist church.  But as I sat in the service this past Sunday, I felt that I had been unfairly harsh last week. For the past year, we have had a young interim minister [Read More...]

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“One needful thing”, Part 1: What’s missing from Unitarianism

This is a mutli-part series.  In this part, I discuss the history of Unitarianism, including the Transcendentalist revolt, the humanist revolution, and the search for a language of reverence. A few weeks ago, a married couple who are friends of mine joined the Unitarian Universalist congregation that I attend.  They have been attending for about [Read More...]

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Why Unitarians Can’t Dance: Spirituality

Have I not seen the sky and sea Put on a look as hushed and stilled As if some ancient prophecy Grew close upon to be fulfilled? – “Have I Not Seen”, Don Marquis, UU Hymnal #337 I recently came across the following passage from John Trevor’s autobiography, My Quest for God.  In it, he [Read More...]

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Pagans in the Pews: Why I go to the Mormon church

I go to the Mormon church about once a month.  Honestly, it is a painful experience for me.  First, it’s boring (to me … just attached that qualifier to everything I say here).  There is no real discussion.  The questions and the answers are prefabricated, as they must be in any religion which claims to [Read More...]

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