A Devotional Practice with the World at its Center

I realized that devotional practice is not limited to deity-centered religion. There can be an earth-centered or nature-centered kind of devotion too. What I needed was to develop a devotional religious practice, not toward gods, but toward the world. I needed to embrace the world as my Beloved, as my waiting lover. The world is that Divine Other I have been seeking who can draw me out of my ego. And I need a religious practice that will affirm, encourage, and sustain this embrace. [Read more…]

Unitarian growth and Pagan (dis)organization

Over at The Wild Hunt, Jason Pitzl-Waters has posted about the growth of the UU over the last 10 years, a growth of 15%.  This is notable in the face of the general decline of other liberal denominations.  When you factor in about 10% population growth, that’s still real, albeit modest, growth.  “Apuleius Platonicus” points [Read More…]

“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…]

“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…]

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…]

“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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