The Secret Six:  Violence & Nonviolence in Unitarianism & Universalism

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Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was “well timed” in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word “Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait" has almost always meant “Never.” We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is ju … [Read more...]

Why Universalism? “Loving the Hell Out of the World?”

Love the Hell Out of This World

Last week I posted my response to the question “Why Unitarianism?” This week, I will explore the related question, “Why Universalism?” Comparing these two philosophically liberal religious traditions, the most famous quote comes from Thomas Appleton, who said, “The Universalists think that God is too good to damn them forever, the Unitarians think that they are too good to be damned forever” (Buehrens 228). More constructively, the Rev. Forrest Church said, “In a sweeping answer to creeds tha … [Read more...]

Scientific Rigor and Spiritual Evolution: The Work of Jeffrey Kripal

Comparing

This post is part of a summer-long Patheos series on 2014 Religious Trends. This week, the focus is the Spirituality Channel on “Is the Veil Thinning? Time, Consciousness, and Spiritual Evolution” This topic is timely for me because last week, I began teaching a 6-session course in my congregation based on Jeffrey Kripal’s new book "Comparing Religions: Coming to Terms." I have posted about Kripal previously (“Religious Mystic & Rational Humanist: The Mystical Humanism of Jeffrey Kripal”), … [Read more...]

Why Unitarianism?

WeAreAllOne_350

This post is the first in a two-part series reflecting on Unitarian Universalism. Next week, I plan to write about "Why Universalism?" For me, the move from Liberal Christianity to Unitarianism Universalism has been an important paradigm shift in our multi-religious, multi-polar, postmodern world. Before the advent of modern technology, which has made us increasingly globalized and interconnected, it was easier to justify a belief that there is One, Unchanging, Right Way of Believing and Being … [Read more...]

“Find Out How Much Love the World Can Hold”

Providence

The singer-songwriter Dar Williams has a song called “After All.” (If you aren’t familiar with Williams, I recommend her album Out There Live.) The opening lyrics are, “Go ahead, push your luck / Find out how much love the world can hold.” She continues: Once upon a time I had controlAnd reined my soul in tight…So I stopped the tideFroze it up from insideAnd it felt like a winter machineThat you go through and thenYou catch your breath and winter starts againAnd every … [Read more...]

“Bringing the Spiritual to Its Senses”

Greeley

Incense fills the nostrils of a Krishna devotee in a temple in Vrindavan, India, letting him know he is in a sacred place; Muslim worshipers heed the muezzin’s amplified call to prayer from the minaret of a Moroccan mosque; a girl tastes bitter herbs at a Passover Seder in Brooklyn, reminding her of the harshness of her ancestors’ slavery in Egypt; a Greek Orthodox woman gazes reverently upon an icon of Jesus Christ and sees the gaze returned, knowing she is blessed; a Zen Buddhist acolyte str … [Read more...]


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