Philocrites : Liberal religion : Notebook 5.19.03

June 26, 2002

Is Unitarian Universalism a new religion?

Matthew G. wrote:

 It strikes me that both neoPaganism and UUism are new religions. Although UUs are connected to a historical tradition, our present incarnation is only forty-some years old; Pagans aren't the only one making things up as they go along! :)

In my view, to the extent that we UUs think of ourselves as a "new religion," we consign our movement to irrelevancy, intellectual confusion, and spiritual shallowness. But then, I don't think of "Unitarian Universalism" as a religion. I think of it as a community of congregations that share a number of liberal theological impulses and a range of traditions. If we are making things up as we go along, we're in serious trouble.

We may have a theological tradition, we may even have an approach to religion, we may still be (in a number of significant ways) a radically Protestant denomination.

We're a tradition that still depends on the grammar of Christianity, as it were, even if we prefer the vocabulary of other traditions — a point Hayward makes in various ways in his writing.

UUBooks 6.26.02

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