Wednesday, February 05, 2014
Short Takes = Congregations and Cultural Transformation
The commentary about the UUA Board meeting has been hot and heavy. See the previous posts and the comment sections there. (I moderate comments, so the comment section at the Lively Tradition is worth reading.)
Christine Robinson wants to know how we define "our most basic goals" in order to ground the discussion.
I think our most basic goal is to help people develop the basic virtues of liberality: openness, honesty, humility, reverence, gratitude and generosity, solidarity/empathy/compassion, self-possession.
It doesn't bother me that these virtues are not unique to us. It doesn't bother me that people engage in different practices to help them develop these virtues. It doesn't bother me that people get to them through different philosophical, theological or ethical systems or traditions. I think that the inspiration to those virtues can be expressed in any cultural setting, at any economic level.
I think that they are virtues that are developed in congregational settings. I also think that they have very real consequences in terms of social, economic, political, cultural and economic policies. Consequently, they get also expressed in social movements for cultural transformation. So, a another goal is to liberalize or humanize the culture.
The person, the congregation and the society at large are all interconnected venues for the encouragement of the same virtues.