What is Unitarian Universalism?
Unitarian Universalism is a liberal, creedless religion with Judeo-Christian roots, a broad variety of religious sources, and seven guiding ethical/moral principles. Our "free church" tradition traces its history to 16th century Europe, and in North America to the first Pilgrim and Puritan settlers. It has numbered among its members five U.S. presidents and other noteworthy Americans such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Clara Barton, Horace Mann, and Susan B. Anthony. We come together in covenant, rather than creed, to support one another in the "free and responsible search for truth and meaning." Our UU congregations provide a religious home to many interfaith families, and to people who embrace diverse theologies.
The UUA, headquartered in Boston, MA, was formed in 1961 through the consolidation of two historical denominations, the Universalist Church of America and the American Unitarian Association. More than 1050 congregations in North America belong to the Unitarian Universalist Association.
Unitarian Universalist Principles and Sources
We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote
* The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
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* Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder,
affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and
an openness to the forces which create and uphold life;
Grateful for the religious pluralism which enriches and ennobles our faith, we are inspired to deepen our understanding and expand our vision. As free congregations we enter into this covenant, promising to one another our mutual trust and support.
What Do Unitarian Universalists Believe?
(1) We believe in the freedom of religious expression. All individuals should be encouraged to develop their own personal theology, and to present openly their opinions without fear of censure or reprisal.
(2) We believe in the toleration of religious ideas. All religions, in every age and culture, possess not only an intrinsic merit, but also a potential value for those who have learned the art of listening.
(3) We believe in the authority of reason and conscience. The ultimate arbiter in religion is not a church, or a document, or an official, but the personal choice and decision of the individual.
(4) We believe in the never-ending search for Truth. If the mind and heart are truly free and open, the revelations which appear to the human spirit are infinitely numerous, eternally fruitful, and wonderfully exciting.
(5) We believe in the unity of experience. There is no fundamental conflict between faith and knowledge, religion and the world, the sacred and the secular, since they all have their source in the same reality.
(6) We believe in the worth and dignity of each human being. All people on earth have an equal claim to life, liberty, and justice---and no idea, ideal, or philosophy is superior to a single human life.
(7) We believe in the ethical application of religion. Good works are the natural product of a good faith, the evidence of an inner grace that finds completion in social and community involvement.
(8) We believe in the motive force of love. The governing principle in human relationships in the principle of love, which always seek the welfare of others and never seeks to hurt or destroy.
(9) We believe in the necessity of the democratic process. Records are open to scrutiny, elections are open to members, and ideas are open to criticism---so that people might govern themselves.
(10) We believe in the importance of a religious community. The validation of experience requires the confirmation of peers, who provide a critical platform along with a network of mutual support.
By David O. Rankin.
For More information, go to www.uua.org