Philocrites : Liberal Religion 7.1.03

As senior editor of UU World magazine, I write regularly about the Unitarian Universalist movement. Recent articles include:

Adin Ballou: Practical utopian

Adin Ballou (1803-1890) spent a lifetime trying to build a community modeled in every difficult particular on the Sermon on the Mount. He even succeeded for a while. | UU World XVII:4 (July/August 2003)

Humanists celebrate 70th anniversary with new manifesto

| UU World XVII:4 (July/August 2003)

Sophia Lyon Fahs: Revolutionary educator

As a teacher, writer, editor, and advocate, Sophia Lyon Fahs helped to revolutionize American children's religious education and played a major role in what is often called the "Unitarian renaissance." | UU World XVII:2 (March/April 2003)

Religious dialogue in a divided world

The war with al Qaeda may not be a clash between Islam and the West. But 9/11 publicized another conflict quite clearly: There is a clash of theologies within Islam, and the stakes of that battle are high indeed. | UU World XVII:1 (January/February 2003)

Focus on history

Several new first-rate books about Unitarian and Universalist history challenge our assumptions and expand our appreciation for the spiritual and intellectual vitality of our tradition. | UU World XVI:6 (November/December 2002)

Delegates take a global view in Québec

Unitarian Universalists converged on Québec City, the only walled city in North America and the capital of Canada's French-speaking province, for the General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association in June. It was an ideal place to deliberate the religious and ethical significance of economic globalization. | UU World XVI:5 (September/October 2002)

Gregor Samsa's second life

Insect Dreams: The Half Life of Gregor Samsa revives the protagonist of Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis and sets him loose in the turbulent years leading to the first atomic explosion in 1945. The result is a fine comic novel shot through with ideas and shaped by a vigorous moral imagination. | UU World XVI:4 (July/August 2002)

Samuel Gilman, early champion of Southern Unitarianism

When Unitarian Universalists think of ideals like the separation of church and state or the interdependent web of all existence, we imagine principles that enhance the rights of all human beings. It can be something of a rude awakening to see these very principles used to defend slavery. | UU World XVI:3 (May/June 2002)

Christianity's victims

An all-powerful father sends his son to die on a cross, in the process saving his other children from an awful fate he himself ordained. A new book by two path-breaking feminist theologians argues that something is horribly wrong with this version of the story. | UU World XVI:2 (March/April 2002)

Beautiful words

We treat the letters of the alphabet as tools, and why wouldn't we? Used the right way, they get our point across. Some people see the alphabet as more than a toolbox, however. Calligraphers like Margaret Shepherd transform these everyday tools of communication into things of beauty. | UU World XVI:2 (March/April 2002)

Unitarian and Universalist roots of the American Red Cross

Henry Whitney Bellows, a Unitarian minister, helped found the U.S. Sanitary Commission in 1861. The Commission provided the basis for the American Red Cross, founded twenty years later by a Universalist, Clara Barton. | UU World XVI:1 (January/February 2002)

Delegates deliver a mandate

The UUA's 40th General Assembly resounded with calls for renewed public engagement and commitment to congregational and spiritual growth. The Rev. William G. Sinkford, elected president of the UUA by the largest margin in the association's history, left Cleveland with a mandate. | UU World XV:4 (September/October 2001)

Selma '65: So nobly started

The Unitarian Universalist Association was not quite four years old when the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. sent an urgent telegram to its Boston headquarters on March 7, 1965, asking religious leaders and concerned citizens to join him in Selma, Alabama, where African Americans marching for their right to vote had been brutally attacked by lawmen. | UU World XV:2 (May/June 2001)

Ezra Stiles Gannett: Conservative but visionary

One hundred seventy-five years ago, a young assistant minister stepped out from the shadow of the best-known champion of the new Unitarian movement in America and took charge of the first institution organized to promote the growth of Unitarianism on this continent. | With David E. Bumbaugh, UU World XIV:6 (November/December 2000)

A congressman's struggle for respect

At a peace rally in the early 1970s, Ronald Dellums drew a standing ovation when he said, "Many of my colleagues in the Congress are mediocre prima donnas who don't understand the level of human misery in this country or the world." But when another representative read those words back during debate in Congress, it was a "very painful lesson." | UU World XIV:5 (September/October 2000)

Philocrites | Copyright © 2000-2003 by Christopher L. Walton | clwalton at