Unitarian Universalist Campus Community

Searching for truth, Supporting each other, Welcoming to all!

 

Although Unitarian and Universalist thought can be found throughout the history of the development of religion in Europe, Unitarian Universalism in its modern form descends from two movements that developed out of the liberal strains of the European reformation:

Unitarianism, which affirmed the unity of God (as opposed to the trinity) and emphasized reason as a test for theological truth; and

 

Universalism, which proclaimed universal salvation for all humans.

 

Both of these religious movements developed a strong tradition of freedom of belief and an emphasis on ethical responsibility. In 1961, the Unitarians and Universalists in North America united as the Unitarian Universalist Association. Our Unitarian Universalist faith continues our strong religious traditions. Chief among them is that membership in our religious community is not conditional on the acceptance of any particular religious creed. Also central to our open and accepting faith is that we welcome and honor all people regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or economic condition.

 

We often call ourselves religious ‘liberals’:

 

religious because we unite to celebrate and affirm values that embrace and reflect a greater reality than self.

liberal because none of us claim to have exclusive revelation or to know final and ultimate truth; we believe the best way to live in religious community and move towards truth is through freedom of belief and open dialogue.

 

 

British Unitarians eloquently describe their beliefs this way:

  • everyone has the right to seek truth and meaning for themselves.
  • the fundamental tools for doing this are your own life experience, your reflection upon it, your intuitive understanding and the promptings of your own conscience.
  • the best setting for this is a community that welcomes you for who you are, complete with your beliefs, doubts and questions.

 

 

Twenty years ago, the Unitarian Universalist Association adopted the following principles:

 

 

 We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote

  • The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
  • Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
  • Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
  • A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
  • The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
  • The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
  • Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

 

The living tradition which we share draws from many sources:

  • Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life;
  • Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love;
  • Wisdom from the world's religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life;
  • Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God's love by loving our neighbors as ourselves;
  • Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit.
  • Spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.

 

                                                                           

 

The principles go on to state that “Nothing herein shall be deemed to infringe upon the individual freedom of belief which is inherent in the Universalist and Unitarian heritages.”

 

This statement was the end result of a deliberative process, and it is subject to future evolution. It is explicitly not used as a creedal test for membership. Furthermore the beliefs of many individual UUs go far beyond these principles. However the principles are incredibly valuable as a public affirmation of our common ground together in the world today.

 

 

To learn more about Unitarian Universalist beliefs look at:

Unitarian Universalism: Frequently Asked Questions

What Do Unitarian Universalists Believe? Some Common Threads

Unitarian Universalist History Timeline

 

 

You can learn more about Unitarian Universalists in the North America at the web site of the Unitarian Universalist Association.

 

You can learn more about Unitarians and Universalists around the world at the web site of the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists.

 

 

 

 

 

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