Tuesday, April 21, 2009
For the benefit of my email subscribers, I am not preaching tomorrow, April 22, at King's Chapel (as I had erroneously written yesterday in a post that went out by email Tuesday morning), but am in fact preaching there on Wednesday, April 29. You'll be welcome at the noontime service either week, of course.
(Note to self: Double-check your calendar before clicking "Publish." Your baby-addled brain needs all the help it can get these days!)
Monday, April 20, 2009
I'm preaching at the 12:15 midweek service at King's Chapel in downtown Boston on Wednesday, April 29 — my first time in a pulpit since Gregory was born eleven months ago today.
Monday, April 6, 2009
Utne Reader announced today that UU World, the magazine I edit for the Unitarian Universalist Association, has been named a finalist for the 2009 Utne Independent Press Awards. UU World is one of eight religion and spirituality magazines nominated in the Spiritual Coverage category, alongside venerable titles like Tricycle, Image, and Parabola and spunky upstarts like Geez. I was proud of my eight-person staff and small team of regular contributors before, but their stock has now gone even higher in my estimation. Way to go, team! (UU World is the only denominational magazine among the nominees.)
The winners will be announced in May and publicized in the July/August issue of Utne Reader.
Daniel McKanan, Harvard's first Ralph Waldo Emerson Unitarian Universalist Association Senior Lecturer in Divinity, will be giving his inaugural lecture in the Sperry Room at Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass., May 7 at 5:15 pm. His topic: "Unless a Seed Falls: Cultivating Liberal Institutions." McKanan studies religious movements for social transformation. For the last few years, he has also convened UU scholars from diverse disciplines at the annual convention of the American Academy of Religion and is doing a great job raising the profile of contemporary UU religious scholarship.
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.