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Saturday, April 9, 2005

Reading your way to Unitarian Universalist ordination.

James Estes of Peregrinato has turned the UUA Ministerial Fellowship Committee's reading list the books every candidate for ordination is expected to know into an reading guide: "So You'd Like to Become a Unitarian Universalist Minister." Thanks, James!

Copyright © 2005 by Philocrites | Posted 9 April 2005 at 10:38 AM

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Jason Pitzl-Waters:

April 9, 2005 01:14 PM | Permalink for this comment

Nice list! I'll have to start working my way through. One quibble. "Drawing Down The Moon" while a great book is very out-of-date (it being written over 25 years ago) and would do little to expose non-Pagan UU ministers to an accurate picture of what our family of faiths look like today.


April 9, 2005 01:41 PM | Permalink for this comment

Don't leave us hanging, Jason. Suggest a better introduction to contemporary American paganism.

Jason Pitzl-Waters:

April 9, 2005 02:07 PM | Permalink for this comment

I'm working on a longer post in my blog about just that! But until that is up (most likely later tonight) let me quickly plug:

Being a Pagan : Druids, Wiccans, and Witches Today
by Ellen Evert Hopman, Lawrence Bond

Modern Pagans: an Investigation of Contemporary Ritual
by John Sulak, Vale

Both books give a more updated look at modern practioners.

I also want to add that my "quibble" isn't to dismiss Adler's book (which is excellent and should still be read) but to guide people to a more current look at things.

More from me on this later!

Jason Pitzl-Waters:

April 9, 2005 02:11 PM | Permalink for this comment

Quick addition: "Being a Pagan" includes a chapter interviewing a woman involved with CUUPs.


April 9, 2005 07:03 PM | Permalink for this comment

Even the 1997 revised and expanded edition (now admittedly eight years old?)

(Certainly doesn't cover the breadth and "outness" of modern paganism, I admit.)


April 9, 2005 11:22 PM | Permalink for this comment

That's it? From a lay perspective, the list doesn't look very long or deep. What do you mean by 'know'. Regurgitate or reflect? What kind of questions are asked?



April 10, 2005 12:17 AM | Permalink for this comment

Not having gone before the MFC, I cannot answer definitively yet how the list is treated. I'm interested in hearing the answer. I can say, however, as a seminarian that the list may not look terribly deep on its own, it is typically woven into related competency areas (polity, history, religious education, etc.) Furthermore, it also represents hundreds upon hundreds of pages--on top of the thousands of pages already required of a graduate seminary degree (which is typically more credits than a doctoral program).

Frankly, my issues with the list--the more I look at it--are that it requires reading from resources that seem less and less available. This makes me wonder whether our own scholarly community is or is not putting out new materials to a sufficient degree. For a learned community, an educated profession, and a group that is supposed to attract intellectuals, this is a surprising gap.

It also makes me wonder why some of the out of print materials are not made availabe via photocopy or digital copy -at cost- by the UUA for ministerial candidates. Fair use for teaching and learning would easily allow for such reproductions. Given my bibliographic background I don't mind being a book-hunter or library antiquarian, but I don't think that should be a necessary tool for all seminarians!


April 10, 2005 06:47 AM | Permalink for this comment

I'm surprised that a biography of Emerson ("The Mind on Fire") is on the list but not his actual writings.


April 10, 2005 09:58 AM | Permalink for this comment

Jason has now posted his full commentary on five pagan books UU ministers ought to have.

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