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Thursday, June 19, 2008

New 'UU World': Paradise, Sources cantata, counting UUs.

UU World, Summer 2008While I was offline welcoming my adorable son into the world, UU World's summer issue arrived in subscribers' mailboxes; most of the issue is also available online. Some highlights:

  • Theologians Rita Nakashima Brock and Rebecca Ann Parker present one of the central arguments of their new Beacon Press book, Saving Paradise: They argue that the Crucifixion was not the central image of salvation in Christianity's first thousand years. Instead, they write, early Christian worship was oriented around images of the restoration of an earthly paradise. The Crucifixion came to dominate Christian worship and art only as the Holy Roman Empire and the First Crusade began killing people in Christ's name. Brock and Parker hold up aspects of the Universalist tradition as helping us reclaim a doctrine of salvation focused on this world.
  • Kimberly French profiles composer Jason Shelton and lyricist Kendyl Gibbons, two UU ministers who composed a cantata celebrating Unitarian Universalism's Six Sources. The "Sources" cantata will be performed during the opening ceremony at this summer's General Assembly.
  • Rich Higgins takes an in-depth look at the Pew Forum's U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, which found that 3 in 1,000 American adults identify their religion as "Unitarian" — a number significantly larger than the number of people who belong to Unitarian Universalist churches. (Although the UU blogs discussed the survey when it came out, Higgins interviews a number of sociologists who have studied American religious affiliation, so he's got material none of the rest of us had access to.)
  • Also in the summer issue: Forrest Church tells his congregation that his cancer has returned; Jeff Wilson reviews Philip Gura's new history of Transcendentalism; Tad Waddington recommends thinking mythically about your goals; and Alice Blair Wesley gives a shout out to the Puritan "Cambridge Platform," the root of Unitarian Universalist "congregational polity."

    Members of UUA congregations receive a subscription to UU World as a benefit of membership. Others can subscribe in the U.S. for only $14 a year. Visit for articles from the magazine's current and past issues, online-only essays and blogs, and fresh news. And be sure to sign up for the magazine's weekly email newsletter.

    P.S. If you want to write a letter to the editor, write to world {at} and include your name, address, phone number, and congregation; only your name and city will be published with your letter.

    Copyright © 2008 by Philocrites | Posted 19 June 2008 at 8:38 AM

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    June 19, 2008 06:53 PM | Permalink for this comment

    Has that baby ever woken up yet? I keep checking the pictures...

    Ron Robinson:

    July 14, 2008 06:59 PM | Permalink for this comment

    Loved the book by Brock and Parker, Saving Paradise. Blogged on it, or rather posted a sermon on it, at my blog and hope to blog on it more in the summer. Ron Robinson

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