Showing posts from July, 2012

What Time Is It?

My Thursday talk from the South West UU Summer Institute:  Bread, Not Stones

Bread Not Stones Thursday I want to start this morning by talking about Unitarian Universalist history. 
Not Unitarian history  Not Universalist History, but Unitarian Universalist history.  Our history in the period leading up and through the 1961 merger to the present day.  This analysis was inspired by the work of James Luther Adams, the Unitarian historian and theologian, whose career started in the 1930's and ended more recently.   The most important thing I think that you can say about Adams was that he urged all of us to maintain a lively sense of history.   There are three eras of Unitarian Universalist history present here.   One is the era of James Luther Adams, a man who was a young man in the 1930’s and at the heights of his analytical and theological powers in the 50’s and 60’s.   Much of this era was before merger and some of it immediately after merger.   It was an era in which Unitarianism went f…

My Not So Personal History

Wednesday's talk at the South West UU Summer Institute -- Bread Not Stones.

Unitarian Universalists are so often seen as coming from that New English Puritan tradition – the First Parish church on the town green, with long standing congregations, supported by the somewhat more non-conformist branches of the old families, at once both smug, snobby and also, with a chip on their shoulder about their.   Outsider status.  Kind of like that guy in the Sprint commercial – a corporate executive behind a big desk bragging about how is “sticking it to the Man” until some underling suggests that “He IS the Man.” There are other ways that people have become Unitarian Universalists, and my family’s story is one of them.   I never thought much about my family’s religious journey very much when I was a child – no child does, because most children assume that their family is the norm.  As I got older and started studying religion and American history more formally, it was then that I finally start…

Secularism is the Fulfillment

This is my Tuesday text from the South West UU Summer Institute.

Something that I have always wondered about was whether the secular realm has always existed.  Did the ancient Hebrew woman see her daily domestic activity as something outside of the religion -- oh, those men, always thinking about Yahwah, and arguing about Him, while I am just grinding the grain and making the bread.  Or am I doing all this work in a manner prescribed or shaped by religious teaching.  Did she compartmentalize her consciousness in the way that we do?  There is a great deal of evidence that in the ancient world religion was a separate sphere.  In the stories and myths that the ancients told, the Gods, including Yahwah, once walked upon the Earth and related directly with human beings.  Recall that story from the second chapter of Genesis, which describes how God was walking in the Garden in the evening, "in the cool of the day" and he encounters Adam and Eve, all dressed up in their fig leafed fin…