The Sacred in Music

Blacwell

Poetry and music engage us in ways beyond what can be contained in prose alone. Poetry uses language playfully to gesture beyond the more straightforward meaning of most texts, offering the possibility of breaking open fixed ideas to new possibilities. As Emily Dickinson once mused about the power of poetry:Tell all the truth but tell it slant — Success in Circuit lies Too bright for our infirm Delight The Truth's superb surprise As Lightning to the Children eased With explanation k … [Read more...]

Tectonic Shifts in the Global Religious Landscape since WWI

Jenkins

The Seven Principles of Unitarian Universalism set a high bar. To list only a few examples:the inherent worth and dignity of every person; the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all; respect for the interdependent web of all existence.One of the reasons for such high goals is that many of the theological ancestors of contemporary UUs had an optimistic view of human potential. Whereas some theological conservatives preached a pessimistic view of human na … [Read more...]

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...]

“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...]

“Fast Future: How the Millennial Generation Is Shaping Our World”

Fast

“Seventh-Generation Thinking” means considering the longterm impact of our actions even to the seventh generation to follow. Or I have sometimes heard this perspective phrased: seeing yourself as in the midpoint of a seven-generation span — such that ethical decisions should try to honor the wisdom of the three generations that preceded you (back to your great-grandparents) and to consider the legacy you are leaving for the three generations that will follow you (your great-grand child … [Read more...]


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