Main content | Sidebar | Links

Monday, April 6, 2009

Minns Lectures: Unitarian kinship with Judaism, Islam.

I'm pleased to announce the 2009 Minns Lectures. Historian Susan Ritchie, visiting professor of Unitarian Universalist history at Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, Calif., and minister of North Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Lewis Center, Ohio, will be discussing early Unitarianism's relationships with Judaism and Islam in five lectures in Boston in April and at the UUA General Assembly in June. Here are the details:

Lecture 1: Children of the Same God: The Early Unitarian Theology of Relationship to Judaism and Islam

Tuesday, April 21, at UUA Headquarters, 25 Beacon Street, Boston — 6:30 pm reception followed by 7:00 pm lecture

European Unitarianism was formed in large part through the desire to honor Christianity’s close kinship with Judaism and Islam. Convinced that Christians, Muslims, and Jews were a part of the same religious family, Unitarians emerged as Christians who resisted theologies of God that could not be freely shared across traditions. This lecture explores the earliest theological expressions of this multi-religious vision.

Lecture 2: Children of the Same God: European Unitarianism in Creative Cultural Exchange with Ottoman Islam

Wednesday, April 22, First Church in Boston, 66 Marlborough Street, Boston — 6:00 pm reception and 6:30 pm dinner ($10 fee for dinner), followed by 7:30 pm lecture

We begin with how Unitarianism’s commitment to and articulation of religious tolerance arose from actual exchanges between sixteenth-century Transylvanians and Ottoman Muslims. From there, we explore the intentional efforts of European Unitarians to reach out to Muslim communities throughout the centuries.

Lecture 3: Children of the Same God: European Unitarianism in Relationship to Judaism

Monday, April 27, King’s Chapel House, 64 Beacon Street, Boston — 6:30 pm reception followed by 7:00 pm lecture

While waves of European anti-Semitic persecutions troubled this identity, a strong affinity for Judaism distinguishes European Unitarianism across the centuries. For some Unitarians, this meant adopting Jewish practices; for others it meant establishing relationships with Jewish communities.

Lecture 4: Children of the Same God: Resistances and Possibilities in the North American Unitarian Engagement with Islam and Judaism

Tuesday, April 28, Andover Newton Theological School, Wilson Chapel, 210 Herrick Road, Newton, Mass. — 7:00 pm reception followed by 7:30 pm lecture

While the European Unitarian tradition was formed through creative engagement with actual Islamic and Jewish communities, the North American history in this regard has not been as rich. This lecture explores the racial and class identity of American Unitarianism that led it to not fully embrace kinship with Judaism and Islam in spite of many suggestions of affinity and connection.

Lecture 5: Children of the Same God: Unitarianism in Kinship with Judaism and Islam

Saturday, June 27, UUA General Assembly, Salt Lake City, Utah — 5:15 pm

Unitarian identity in Europe emerged as a defense of the inherent kinship between Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. This lecture examines the early theology of this relationship, and then summarizes the actual, creative encounters it engendered with Jewish and Muslim communities. The invigorating possibilities of re-engaging this multi-religious vision from within contemporary North American Unitarian Universalism are explored.

The Minns Lectures are sponsored by King's Chapel and the First Church of Boston, two of the UUA's oldest congregations.

Copyright © 2009 by Philocrites | Posted 6 April 2009 at 9:07 PM

Previous: UUA Board meets in Boston, April 17-18.
Next: Harvard's Daniel McKanan on building liberal institutions.




April 7, 2009 05:31 PM | Permalink for this comment


I live in Oregon and don't intend to visit the east coast at this point in my life. However, the lecture schedule that you posted sounds fascinating, will the lectures be video taped? If so, how could I get copies?

Thank you for this blog, I just found it.



April 7, 2009 10:12 PM | Permalink for this comment

Check with the Minns Lectures website. Some lectures have been published in book form; others are on the Minns site as PDFs. I don't know if they'll be videotaped.

And I hope you will make it to New England some day. It's beautiful! (I love Oregon, too.)


April 9, 2009 07:05 PM | Permalink for this comment

Thanks. :)

Comments for this entry are currently closed.