Unitarian Universalism can trace their roots back to Christian Protestantism. Unitarianism developed in the Common Era as a belief that all people would be saved. The first Unitarian Churches were established in sixteenth-century Transylvania. These Churches continue to worship today. Universalism was developed in America in the late 1700’s and was established in Boston. It was not until the early 1960’s did these separate religious groups Unitarian and Universalism united to form what is now Unitarian Universalism. The religion is very much theologically liberal and it is supported by the notion that a free and responsible search for truth and meaning is important. Unitarian Universalist is a liberal religion that encompasses many faiths. Unitarian Universalists include people that identify themselves as Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Pagans, Atheists, Agnostics, and Humanists to name a few. According to Rev. Marta Flanagan (2007), "We uphold the free search for truth. We will not be bound by a statement of belief. We do not ask anyone to subscribe to a creed. We say ours is a non-creedal religion. Ours is a free faith." Although the Unitarian Universalists have varied beliefs, they share common principles. There are seven principals that Unitarian Universalist congregations affirm and promote. When a Unitarian Universalists speaks of worship they are referring to a shared religious life that the congregation shares. Those things of worship include Sunday services, creating music, honoring marriage and death, and celebrating special holidays together. The glue that holds Unitarian Universalists together is that their followers are dedicated to working toward civil rights and fighting oppression. While followers cannot take action on every justice issue, the main goal is to encourage making the world a better place. The backbone of the Unitarian Universalism religious community is the seven principles. The Seven Principles
The inherent worth and dignity of every person.
Justice, equity and compassion in human relations.
Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations. IV.
A free and responsible search for truth and meaning.
The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large. VI.
The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all. VII.
Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
These seven principles draw from many different sources. According to the Unitarian Universalist web site (2007), the sources are from direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and openness to the forces that create and uphold life. The principles also come from words and deeds of prophetic women and men that challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love. Wisdom from the world's religions also inspires the principle that inspires believers in their ethical and spiritual life. Jewish and Christian teachings call believers to respond to God's love by loving our neighbors as we love ourselves. Humanist teachings have influenced and counseled us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit. The spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions like that of indigenous peoples teach them celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct followers to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.
Many religious groups have a symbol that ties their religion together. The Unitarian Universalist religion is no different. Their symbol is the flaming chalice. The flaming chalice unites members and symbolizes the spirit of their work as a group. An Austrian artist named Hans Deutsch first brought the origin of the symbol together. Hans created it during World War II...
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