Thursday, 1 October 2009

Two overviews of Unitarianism

In his excellent blog-post, How does Unitarianism bring about spiritual transformation? Stephen Lingwood outlines the main aspects of Unitarianism, and describes them as a coherent set of values and ideas. If you're confused about where Unitarianism is heading and what it stands for, I recommend reading it. He suggests the following as the key ideas:
  • Look within
  • Communion with Nature
  • Thinking
  • Loving the world around you
  • Wholeness
  • Dialogue
He is also the author of an excellent book, The Unitarian Life, which is an anthology of Unitarian writers past and present giving their views on aspects of life, values and issues. The book is organised thematically for ease of reference, and would be very useful for anyone preparing services to find relevant readings. I found the quotations excellent and inspiring, and agreed with about 99% of them.

Part one deals with Unitarian principles and values; part two deals with specific issues (the environment, sexuality, gender, etc.) and part three is about how to live Unitarianly. There's a good balance between male and female authors, and the various different perspectives from within Unitarianism are included - Christian Unitarians, Buddhist Unitarians, Earth Spirit / Pagan Unitarians, Humanist Unitarians, universalist (in both the modern and the older sense) Unitarians, and just plain Unitarians. It also includes voices from both sides of the Atlantic, and Unitarians and Universalists of both the past and the present. If you are wondering what all these diverse groups within Unitarianism have in common, it is the shared values of freedom, reason and tolerance (and all that stems from these three).

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