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1. A Chosen Faith: An Introduction
2. Unitarian Universalism Is a Really
3. The A to Z of Unitarian Universalism
4. Unitarian Universalism: A Narrative
5. Unitarian Universalism
6. Universalism 101: An Introduction
7. 100 Questions That Non-Members
8. To Re-Enchant the World: A Philosophy
9. No Silent Witness: The Eliot Parsonage
10. Around the church around the year:
11. Christian Voices in Unitarian
12. Freethinking Mystics with Hands:
13. Unitarian Universalism As a Way
14. A Green Sound: Nature Writing
15. Unitarian Universalism Selected
16. Sesquicentennial Celebration of
17. Travel in time: Unitarian Universalism
18. Full Circle: Fifteen Ways to Grow
19. A Who's Who of UUs : A Concise
20. Freedom Moves West: A History

1. A Chosen Faith: An Introduction to Unitarian Universalism
by John A. Buehrens, Forrest Church
Paperback: 256 Pages (1998-06-01)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$6.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0807016179
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Affirming diversity, dialogue, and personal choice in religious living, providing common ground and community for people from a wide variety of backgrounds and beliefs, and encouraging the work for social justice that religion inspires, Unitarian Universalism has become an increasingly appealing religious alternative. A Chosen Faith is a clear, helpful introduction to this growing religious movement. Two long-time ministers and denominational leaders, John A. Buehrens and Forrest Church, describe the sources and history of Unitarian Universalism, how those traditions are adapted in congregations today, and how they each came to choose Unitarian Universalism as a career and a way of life.

This revised edition includes two new chapters as well as a new foreword by best-selling writer and Unitarian Universalist Robert Fulghum.

"An excellent introduction for anyone interested in the nature of Unitarian Universalist religious beliefs, the history of those movements, and the emphasis on openness, tolerance, and social concerns."

—Michael J. McBride, Religious Studies Review
"Simply superb. I know of nothing comparable to it. The old-timer as well as the 'come-outer' will find A Chosen Faith irresistible. It will be a gift for everyone, for the minister, for the laity, for theological students. Engaging, seductive, infectious."

—James Luther AdamsAmazon.com Review
A Chosen Faith: An Introduction to UnitarianUniversalism, by John A. Buehrens and Forrest Church, is hard todescribe. The book is a history of the denomination, with livelypassages depicting the lives and ministries of importantUnitarian-Universalist leaders such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and WilliamEllery Channing. Yet it is also a collection of testimonies bycontemporary laypeople and ministers, who describe their churches'responses to questions ranging from "How do I know when to getmarried?" to "How should the government treat singlemothers?" The funny and wise introduction was written by RobertFulghum, who indulges the often invoked criticism that UnitarianUniversalism's ideals are interchangeable with those of PBS. And,finally, it contains some straightforward explications of thedenomination's core principles. The Church's aversion to creeds willbe off-putting to some readers--at times, it seems UnitarianUniversalists believe in nothing so much as not committing to any onebelief. But there's something universally refreshing about thisprotean faith: most religious people, at one time or another, findthat God leads them to reject some tenets of their religion. UnitarianUniversalists have a true genius for accepting God's most surprisingWords, which makes A Chosen Faith a valuable resource for allof us. --Michael Joseph Gross ... Read more

Customer Reviews (26)

5-0 out of 5 stars Superb
A superb book for anyone, Unitarian Universalist or not.
Reviews the history of Unitarian Universalism- especially in the U.S., its principles, social activism.
Lucidly, succintly authored by 2 Unitarian Universalist ministers of long standing (i.e. knowledgeable & experienced) and of major stature. Material applies to anyone of spirituality, regardless of personal beliefs.

5-0 out of 5 stars Uniarian Universalist
This is a very Good overview onUU Views and History i learned a lot from this book i recommend it to anyone who wants to learn aboutUnitarian Universalism.

3-0 out of 5 stars I think it's just me..
well personally, I was really excited to get this book. However, I found it hard to "get into". The book is well written and a local unitarian church LOVES to use this book for newcomers.I think it's just a toss up if your going to like it or not.It is well written though.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good for UU
Not too many books are writen from a UU point.This one is decent

5-0 out of 5 stars A Cliff Notes-esque Summary of Unitarian Universalism
I am a fairly new Unitarian Universalist and I have found that this book has answered a lot of questions on the history of the UU church, Unitarianism, Universalism and even made me consider becoming more and more involved with the UU tradition.

I highly recommend it! ... Read more

2. Unitarian Universalism Is a Really Long Name
by Jennifer Dant
Hardcover: 30 Pages (2008-03)
list price: US$12.00 -- used & new: US$9.07
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1558965084
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This one-of-a-kind picture book is a colorful introduction to Unitarian Universalism for children ages five to nine. Simple language and appealing illustrations offer children accessible answers to commonly asked questions such as:Who are we? What do we believe? How do we worship? Who leads us? Do we read the Bible? What is our religious symbol?Do we pray? What is Sunday school? How do we celebrate?"This appealing book answers children’s basic questions about Unitarian Universalism with friendly words and charming pictures—an excellent resource!"—Janeen Grohsmeyer, author of A Lamp in Every Corner"Jennifer Dant and Anne Carter have given our children the gift of a clear, coherent and cheery introduction to the Unitarian Universalist religious journey."—Jeanne Nieuwejaar, author of The Gift of Faith ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Intro to UUism
Finally, a book about the UU that explains what the UU Church is all about to kids! The book does not assume that the reader is a UU and explains what UUs believe and much of the history of the UU in a kid friendly way. Broken into short chapters it answers questions like "Who Are We?", "What Do We Believe?", "Do We Read the Bible?" and "What is our Religious Symbol?". This is the perfect book for young visitors and new members with children. Parts of the book can even be read for a children's reading during UU services. Unlike some books produced by the UUA this one has color pictures as well. This is a must have for every UU congregation and UU family. ... Read more

3. The A to Z of Unitarian Universalism (A to Z Guides)
by Mark W. Harris
Paperback: 616 Pages (2009-07-16)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$29.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0810868172
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

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Small though it may be, Unitarian Universalism has had a big impact not only on its members but also on the world around it. Rejecting the constraints of other Christian denominations, it sought tolerance for itself and, surprisingly, freely granted tolerance to others. Evolving in its principles and practices over a relatively short lifetime, it shows every sign of developing further, reaching beyond Christianity to embrace what is good in other, more diverse religions. Unitarian Universalism has also regularly been at the forefront in fighting for social causes, including abolition, temperance, women's suffrage, pacifism, educational reform, environmentalism, and others.Unitarian Universalism has also spread with time. First developed in present-day Romania and Hungary, its center shifted early to England, but its most successful story is the way it grew and flourished in the United States. This reference covers numerous subjects, both historical and contemporary, with entries on the places where the church was present, many more on significant leaders, and an impressive number on causes and issues. All the important people, events, and ideas in this religion are included, as well as important late-20th-century battles, including racism and new principles and purposes. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars the indispensable reference -- in paperback
This paperback version of Rev. Mark Harris's book published in hardcover as the Historical Dictionary of Unitarian Universalism (Historical Dictionaries of Religions, Philosophies and Movements), is a truly indispensable reference for anyone interested in the history of Unitarians, Universalists, and Unitarian Universalists -- at a fraction of the hardcover's price.

Rev. Harris is a parish minister serving one of America's oldest congregations, the First Parish of Watertown, Massachusetts, which traces its history to 1630. He also is a diligent and careful historical scholar.

His book is organized alphabetically, comprising biographical entries for notable Unitarians and Universalists, as well entries for important organizations and institutions that have played a role in the denominations' historical development.

It opens with an entry on the Rev. Francis Ellingwood Abbot, who served the Dover, New Hampshire, Society of Unitarian Christians - until New Hampshire's courts ruled him insufficiently "Christian." John and Abigail Adams are here too. So is John Quincy Adams.

Rev. Abner Kneeland is here too, who served as a Universalist minister before he was prosecuted by the State of Massachusetts, convicted, and imprisoned - for blasphemy.

All round, I think this is the best reference in print for quick references on Unitarian and Universalist biography.

Critical institutions, organizations, and events are covered too. The entry on Harvard College, for example, describes the controversy surrounding the Henry Ware's appointment to the Hollister Divinity Chair in 1805, which divided Congregationalism and contributed to the formation of the Unitarian denomination.

Eric Alan Isaacson ... Read more

4. Unitarian Universalism: A Narrative History
by David E. Bumbaugh
Paperback: 226 Pages (2001-03)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$12.61
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0970247907
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (6)

2-0 out of 5 stars Uninspired and uninspiring
This "narrative history" is essentially a short textbook, not the sort of book one would read for pleasure, unless one finds pleasure in being bored. While it is a good overview of the historical development of of the UU religion, it is written in a dry, workmanlike prose that doesn't engage the imagination at all.

As other reviewers have noted, the book dwells on the Unitarian strand and gives the universalists a briefer treatment. The final piece, on the creation of the Unitarian Universalist Association in 1961 and its evolution since then, is also cursory.

I will keep this on my shelf as a reference, but I doubt I would ever feel a desire to read it again without it being to look something up. A Chosen Faith: An Introduction to Unitarian Universalism is a much better introduction to UU.

3-0 out of 5 stars Worth a Look
This book is by David Bumbaugh.

The book seemed strange to me in how it is laid out. The chapters or sections are more or less all run together. It would have been easier to read if these had been better offset from each other. This and other font and editorial issues really hurt my reading experience.

That being said, the writing was better than the appearance, but did leave something to be desired in places. It did "breeze along" in many spots giving it a superficial feel. Of course, it was covering a lot of territory in a short space.

I would have preferred more information on the philosophy of the individuals mentioned, although, here and there some was offered. I did gain new respect for Emerson and Parker given what was quoted from them.

One thing that remains a mystery to me after reading this book is how the humanists came to be dominant in Unitarianism. This is really glossed over in this book.

As the book moved along, and especially in the section on Univeralism, there seemed to be merely a list of dates, conventions and social concerns with not a lot of substance. An exception to this was the situation surrounding the UU involvement in civil rights; it turned into kind of a disaster which was a surprise to me. I must say that I did have to respect the UU board for how they handled what happened.

All in all, the book is worth a read if you want an overview of the subject and are not bothered by what it lacks. It is not overly dense, so one can read it quickly.

4-0 out of 5 stars Unitarian Universalism: A Narrative History
If you are intrested in reading about different points of view and different faith systems this book is an intresting read. It gives the reader an intresting alternate view of Christianity and the thoughts about the trinity belief. A very engaging book to excercise your mind and open it to new points of view.

3-0 out of 5 stars Competently crafted history of the UU denomination, with emphasis on Unitarianism
On the first page of this book, author David Bumbaugh explains that the UU denomination is peculiar in that it is bound together by a shared history, rather than a shared theology or set of doctrines. He then spends the next 200 pages outlining the histories of the two foundational denominations, the Unitarians and Universalists, from their beginnings in formative Christian discourse to their merger in 1961 to the new challenges facing the secular humanism that has dominated UU since the mid-20th century.

This book should be on the bookshelf of every UU, since it provides an easy-to-read overview of our denominational history. Because Bumbaugh does such a thorough job of discussing the various theological actions and reactions of the Reformation, this book is also recommended reading for Christians of all denominations who want to know more about the formation of their faith. After all, as Bob Marley pointed out, "if you knew your history, then you would know where you're coming from."

That said, my sole criticism of this history is that it provides much more information on Unitarianism than it does on Universalism. As the author notes in his section on the May 1961 merger of the two liberal post-Christian denominations, the Universalists often feared being subsumed into the larger Unitarian milieu, and this history suggests that those fears were justified. While the author acknowledges that Universalism as a denomination did not really exist in Europe, he also does not go into a detailed exploration of the roots that it DOES have, whereas he spends scores of pages describing proto-Unitarian trends in European Christendom. Perhaps there really is a paucity of information available on pre-18th century proto-Universalist ideas, and that dearth explains its under-representation in the book.

All in all, a good book for historians of Christianity and UU and also for those interested in liberal religion in general.

4-0 out of 5 stars An Excellent History of Unitarian Universalism
This relatively short book provides an amazingly in-depth overview of Unitarian and Universalist history.Spending more time on Unitarian history, famous Universalists and their backgrounds are also discussed.This book is unusual in that it is not divided by chapters, and there are typos scattered throughout the text.One that I found particulary humorous was where Ballou's birth year was given as 1771, but then a paragraph later it states he may have held universalist views as early as 1773.Remarkable childhood, if it were true!

All in all, this is a very good book for people to read who love religious history and/or want to get a feel for the history of Unitarian Universalism. ... Read more

5. Unitarian Universalism
Paperback: 96 Pages (1998-03-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$2.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0310488915
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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This is one in a series of brief books on contemporary religious movements, comparing what they believe with Christian Doctrine and explaining effective ways of witnessing to their adherents. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (23)

1-0 out of 5 stars Disreputable and Derogatory
The book by Alan W. Gomes, "Unitarian Universalism," is highly contested. It is based on a series of factual errors and numerous derogatory comments. It speaks of Unitarian Universalism as a "cult" and includes a chapter on "Witnessing Tips" to help convert Unitarian Universalists to Evangelical Christianity. This is a highly disreputable book that does not accurately represent Unitarian Universalism.

4-0 out of 5 stars Know Thy Potential Convert
This pamphlet/book was a surprise to me.Myself, a Unitarian Universalist (UU), I was pleased to discover that the publisher was Zondervan.UU's believe in complete religious freedom.Members follow, or not, various religions.Although not a Christian, I find Zondervan to be one of the less biased Christian publishers.Their Christian fiction is often enjoyable and lacking in malice.One of the best things about being a UU is that I am allowed to appreciate the religious beliefs, biases and arguments of those practicing other religions.

This series of books is aimed at members of the Christian community working with people from various non-Christian religions, cults, and non-believers in general.The premise is that by knowing a person's religious beliefs, the conversion might be more easily accomplished.

Therefore, I was impressed by the honest explanation of Unitarian Universalism.The history and practice of UUism was explained in such detail that a large part of the book could serve as a factual primer in that religion.The approach towards conversion and the expressedbenefits of Christianity over Unitarian Universalism are well presented and interesting to read.A perfect addition to the religion section of one's library.I'm looking forward to reading the other books in the series in hopes of discovering what approach to conversion is used.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not bad for someone who doesn't get it.
As a former evangelical Christian and current Unitarian-Universalist, I was pleased to see that my chosen heresy was includeed in a series of diatribes against cults. We made the cut! Even better, his account of our history is accurate, if sketchy, and his description of our beliefs is mostly fair.(Why does he ignore the UU principles?When someone asks me what UUs believe, I pull out a little card printed with the Principles.)

Sure, it's mean spirited -- he refers to the growth of Unitarianism as an "infection," and repeatedly calls us "irrational" and unfavorably compares our social stances with those of his own preferred cult. (If Gomes can pick his definition of "cult" then so can I -- and at least mine has objective support: check the OED.) But look at the publisher: Zondervan. Given that, the vitriol is much more subdued than I'd expected.

On Gomes wacky claim that Christians are better multiculturalists than Unitarians (apparently the Christians have an "objective, biblical basis" for denouncing racism while Unitarians do not), I have to ask: If there is an objective, biblical basis for denouncing racism, why have so many orthodox Christians failed to do so? I'm not that old, but I remember a time when evangelical Christians accused liberal Christians of supporting civil rights, condoning interracial marriage, and allowing Black pastors to serve White congregations. (For the under-twenty crowd, to evangelicals these were Bad Things, and they had chapter and verse to back it up.) Now evangelicals want to play "less racist than you for the Bible tells me so." Um, yeah, whatever.

On the witnessing tips: these are suprisingly accurate. Yes, UUism attracts me because of its social stands and its antiauthoritarianism. It also attracts me because it encourages me to examine my own experience, reason, and conscience.Yes, you should treat your UU targets as individuals. You should be prepared to defend your own faith. And by all means turn arguments around: UUs love a good discussion. These are great ideas, and you'd think they'd go without saying.

But really: UUism "provides a person with an opportunity to be religious without having many moral restraints"? Come on. When I compare my UU congregations with the evangelical Christian church I was raised in ... the evangelical church was much, much woolier. I don't have fingers and toes enough for the extramarital affairs, the teen pregnancies, the divorces, larcenies, gluttonies, addictions and abuses and general lack of moral restraints. (Or for that matter, the great public confession and repentance and wailing and gnashing of teeth when any of these peccadilloes was discovered.) On the other hand, the UU congregations have been positively boring as grounds for gossip.

So I'd add this piece of advice: don't assume that your UU target is some kind of moral degenerate. I have never met a UU who joined because he or she wanted to behave badly. It's more common that a UU believes the church supports his/her efforts to live a more moral life. So don't assume you have some kind of an ethical upper hand.

I was converted to UUism by a Christian evangelist who railed against Unitarians just the way Gomes does.Contrary to his aim, UUs sounded pretty attractive to me: a church that encouraged you to listen to your own conscience?I tried it out, and it fit. Hopefully Gomes's mostly-fair description of UUism will reach a few evangelicals in the same place that I was back then.

As an amateur mathematician, I can't help but chime in on a discussion from previous reviews.On Gomes's claim that 2 + 2 = 4 is a universal truth: it's not. Lisa correctly points out that differences of notation and context give us different values. amazonian blows hard about how Lisa is equivocating and that 1 + 1 = 2 whether she likes it or not. amazonian has missed the point: if you can get different results by equivocating, then it's not an absolute truth. The statement, 1 + 1 = 2 is true within the context of the Peano Axioms (and base > 2 notation). On the other hand, in Boolean Algebra 1 + 1 = 1; in arithmetic of classes mod 2, 1 + 1 = 0. In fact, in these other systems the claim 1 + 1 = 2 isn't even false: it's nonsense.So it all depends on your assumptions.

Kind of like religion. Ask any UU.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another Reader
I found the book to be as it claimed, no more, no less.Anyone who cannot allow others to disagree with their personal belief system without writing scathing diatribes are themselves guilty of intolerance.The most level headed reviewer was "amazonianberean".People who give heated or emotional reviews about a book the way so many have here only show that the author is RIGHT ON THE MARK!

1-0 out of 5 stars "Cult" is a loaded word
I find it interesing that Gomes would take such a loaded word as "cult" and redefine it as meaning "any religion that does not believe in the inerrancy of the Christian bible."While Gomes is straightforward with his definition of the word "cult" he relies on its emotional impact to impart a sense of unease aroundUnitarian-Universalist principles.Given that his intended audience is fellow Biblical literalists, it almost seems that there must be constant vigilance against strange new ideas lest the faithful stumble into actually thinking for themselves.

If you think I'm being harsh up here, consider how much he has to jigger and twist his arguments to refute one of the most, if not the most, open religious creeds on the planet:

"It is impossible for UUs to exclude all exclusivistic positions since the very act of excluding these positions is itself an act of exclusivism.This act, in turn, would have to be excluded which is in turn another act of exclusivism needing exclusion, and so on."

"For example, both Christians and UUs denouce racism and the KKK.The difference is that Christians have an objective, biblical basis (Gal. 3:28) while UUs have no objective basis, given their relativistic view of truth."

"It is not arrogant to claim 2+2=4 and *only* 4, even though this claim excludes other answers as correct.... If it is arrogant to believe that one is right and others wrong, then UUs are arrogant since they believe that they are right and Christian 'fundamentalists' are wrong."

Outside of the brief outline of UU history in the beginning of the book, there are pages and pages of these kind of arguments, assuming an arrogance within Universalist-Unitarianism as a whole that just doesn't exist.

BTW, as a mathematician I really itch to point out that 2+2=11 in base 3 and 2+2=5 for high values of 2 (a joke reminding physicists and engineers about problems associated with round-off error).Even his example of 'absolute truth' is not absolute. ... Read more

6. Universalism 101: An Introduction for Leaders of Unitarian Universalist Congregations
by Richard Trudeau
Paperback: 110 Pages (2009-12-03)
list price: US$12.99 -- used & new: US$12.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1439251436
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Few Unitarian Universalists (UUs), ordained or not, know much about Universalist theology. A related problem is that few UUs know much about Universalist history or culture, which is relevant because Universalist theology was shaped by Universalist experience.With the loss of Universalist perspective, our combined Unitarian Universalist religious movement is being impoverished. Universalism was different from Unitarianism. It originated among laypeople, not clergy. It drew on the experience of a less privileged social class. Its message was more radical, its scope was larger, and its taproot went deeper into the heart.This book presents all of Universalism’s distinctive ideas and make clear their relationships to each other. It uses a variety of approaches—essays, details from the author’s biography, anecdotes, laments, meditations, excerpts from other writers, even jokes. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars UU's lesser known known element explained
This is an important book for all UU's to read.When the Unitarian and Universalist organizations merged in 1961, there was a fear among Universalists that due to their smaller number, their unique ideas would be lost in the merge.To a large degree, this fear has come to pass.Universalism 101 is the antidote.The ideas of Universalism "in a nutshell" are provided and discussed, pointing out how even the most highly respected members of the UU movement (including Forrest Church) have sometimes not provided entirely accurate images of Universalism.The similarities and differences between Universalism and Unitarianism are explained, and the unique "flavor" of Universalism as a religion, as a social movement, as not separable from the Christian tradition (or at least the Jesus tradition, as opposed to Christianity), all come through.Not a long or plodding academic tome, this book is well worth reading for modern UU's, particularly those who sometimes feel as though their Church is not actually a religion anymore.UU's who tend to only emphasize the "Unitarian" element and history will come to realize that much of what they most treasure from their tradition actually originated on the Universalist side. ... Read more

7. 100 Questions That Non-Members Ask About Unitarian Universalism
by John Sias
 Paperback: 50 Pages (1994-06-30)
list price: US$5.95 -- used & new: US$34.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0965449734
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
A book of 100 specific and sometimes controversial questions and answers written in understandable language.

Now in its fifth printing, with 11,000 off the press, 100 Questions has been the best selling new book in the denomination in each of the last four years. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Lifelong UUer loves this book
As a second generation Unitarian who has spent her whole life in the church, I highly recommend this excellent review of UU "theory" if you will. I also recommend checking out the UUA's website for other excellent UU books.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not the Best Intro
This is a short, but flawed introduction to Unitarian Universalism.There are some factual inaccuracies (the Universalist P.T. Barnum was not a founder of Tufts), and also a bit of a bias toward the humanist wing of modern UUism.

Try the Unitarian Universalist Pocket Guide or another introduction to Unitarian Universalism instead of or at least in addition to this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good information
I found this quick read to be helpful in answering the questions I had of Unitarian Universalism. Because it is small and easily read, I have been able to pass it on to relatives and friends who are curious as to why I'm looking into this new church. It's a good starting point if you are investigating UU.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great for UU's and others
The question and answer format reads easily.Good for new UU's who have general questions and good for experienced UU's as a way to rekindle ideas.Very true comment about stumbling onto unitarian universalism.I would have joined the church years ago had I known more about it. tls

5-0 out of 5 stars Accurate, Simple and Concise
This is a great book for all UU's to check out. It only takes about an hour to go through and it's a great holistic look in Q and A format of what the majority of Unitarian Universalists stand for. ... Read more

8. To Re-Enchant the World: A Philosophy of Unitarian Universalism
by Richard Grigg
Paperback: 108 Pages (2004-12-20)
list price: US$20.99 -- used & new: US$14.83
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1413466915
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Since the seventeenth century, Western culture has been undergoing what historians and sociologists call secularization, the process via which religious institutions lose more and more of their power in society.Whereas Western society was once held together by the Christian Church, it is now held together by the rational procedures dictated by modern capitalism.But the rules of capitalism, whether ultimately helpful or harmful to our society's development, are not values or spiritual principles.Instead, they are simply technical dicta about the most efficient means to an economic end.One visible aspect of the process of secularization is the weakening, and perhaps eventual withering away, of traditional religious institutions.This process is already fully visible in Western Europe, and is evident, on a more subterranean level, in American society as well.Secularization threatens to "disenchant" the world (Max Weber), to cut us off from the sense of the sacred and of Mystery.But the withering of the old religious institutions does not mean that religion and spirituality themselves will simply disappear.Rather, they can take on new forms, as is evident in the New Age movement in American society.Yet, there is a difficulty with New Age sorts of spiritualities when compared with the old-time religion: these new spiritualities tend to be very individualistic, if not idiosyncratic.Sociologists point out that our spiritual practices will never appear fully real to us unless they have inter-subjective validity, unless they are supported by a social "plausibility structure" (Peter Berger).That is, my view of the world has the aura of reality as long as most of the people around me acknowledge that view and reinforce it.But individualistic New Age pieties seem to have no such social reinforcement underpinning them.Hence the central argument of To Re-Enchant the World: the Unitarian Universalist community accomplishes the unique task of re-enchanting the world by bringing a host of individual spiritualities into a single community where all of them are affirmed and thus granted social plausibility.The U.U. community, then, is a particularly powerful site for the re-enchantment of the world: it puts us back in touch with the sacred and with what the book labels the Mysterious Depth of reality.While Unitarian Universalists can bring many different spiritual ways into the U.U. community, five are analyzed in depth in the book, namely, humanism, a focus on nature, engagement with the arts, commitment to social justice, and devotion to a Source/Creative Abyss of the universe.The book also considers rituals common to the U.U. community and the experience of sacred space, sacred time, and sacred word in that community.Finally, To Re-Enchant the World makes some predictions about the future of Unitarian Universalism and even touches on the delicate issue of U.U. proselytizing.The book as a whole attempts to present a philosophical analysis of Unitarian Universalism that draws upon the most important intellectual currents in contemporary Western culture.The book operates with the conviction that while other American religious denominations can have their "systematic theologies," there is no reason why Unitarian Universalists cannot have philosophies of U.U. pluralism. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

3-0 out of 5 stars Erudite book for the serious UU
This little book is reasonably interesting, though it tends towards the dry - probably more suitable for someone already on the UU path more than the idly curious. I found it helpful, and it answered a lot of questions I had about Unitarianism.

5-0 out of 5 stars A call for a return to a universalist roots
Unitarian Universalism is a small but influential religious movement in the United States and Europe.However, Griggs convincingly argues that given the desecularizationof the U.S., Unitarian Universalism - with its emphasis on an individual's right to determine her own religious beliefs and the belief that we can all view the sacred - provides a powerful religious vision for this culture.While not explicitly arguing from a Universalist perspective, I believe Grigg's book is a contemporary call to return to a more Universalist philosophy - that all religious communities can provide insight to the sacred and that we can create sacred spaces in our community for others to share - though the space may be sacred for different reasons.The book is short - too short - because I didn't want to put it down, and then I was done with it.The book energized me and I wanted to continue to explore these ideas. I look forward to more with this author.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Grand Synthesis of Philosophical and Religious Ideas
The central claim of Richard Grigg's "To Re-Enchant the World: A Philosophy of Unitarian Universalism" is to show "...that contemporary Unitarian Universalism, with its unique ability to bring together a plethora of different spiritualities within a single community, is a particularly powerful site for the re-enchantment of the world, for the rebirth of the sacred." (p.13)
In this his book succeeds admirably.Drawing on strains of thought from philosophy, psychology, poetry and a little dose of humor from pop-culture icons in the Simpson's TV series he weaves together a fine vision of what Unitarian Universalism strives for: a grand synthesis of religious ideas from the diversity of human culture.Grigg even includes a chapter for "A Contrarian Interlude" where he critiques his own book and answers possible objections.
In 100 pages, including informative footnotes on sources, Richard Grigg has given us a wonderfully compact, yet substantive book on contemporary UU thought.
... Read more

9. No Silent Witness: The Eliot Parsonage Women and Their Unitarian World (Religion in America)
by Cynthia Grant Tucker
Hardcover: 360 Pages (2010-07-29)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$22.97
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Asin: 0195390202
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This group biography follows three generations of ministers' daughters and wives in a famed American Unitarian family. Shifting the focus from pulpit to parsonage, and from sermon to whispered secrets, Cynthia Tucker humanizes the Eliots and their religious tradition and lifts up a largely neglected female vocation. Spanning 150 years from the early 19th century forward, the narrative shapes itself into a series of stories. Each of six chapters takes up a different woman's defining experience, from the deaths of numerous children and the anguish of infertility to the suffocation of small parish life with its chronic loneliness, doubt, and resentment. One woman confides in a rare close friend, another in the anonymous readers of magazines that publish her poems. A third escapes from an ill-fitting role by succumbing to neurasthenia, leaving one debilitating condition for another. The matriarch's granddaughters script larger lives, bypassing marriage and churchly employment to follow their hearts into same-sex relationships, and major careers in public health and preschool education. In two concluding chapters, Tucker enlarges the frame to bring in the regular parish women who collectively give voice to issues the ministers' kin must keep to themselves. All of the stories are linked by the women's continuing battles to make themselves heard over clerical wisdom that contradicts their reality. ... Read more

10. Around the church around the year: Unitarian Universalism for children, kindergarten to grade 2
by Jan Evans-Tiller
 Unknown Binding: 144 Pages (1990)

Isbn: 1558961747
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11. Christian Voices in Unitarian Universalism: Contemporary Essays
by Kathleen Rolenz
 Paperback: Pages (2006-01)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$32.49
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Asin: 1558965068
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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5-0 out of 5 stars Introduction to UU Christianity
This collection of essays provides the curious reader an answer to the question "How Can You Be a Unitarian Universalist and a Christian?"An excellent read and a good introduction to the topic!This book has been used in several UU church discussion groups. ... Read more

12. Freethinking Mystics with Hands: Exploring the Heart of Unitarian Universalism
by Tom Owen-Towle
 Paperback: 104 Pages (1998-05)
list price: US$12.00 -- used & new: US$4.99
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Asin: 1558963677
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best books on UUism ever
In Freethinking Mystics with Hands:Exploring the Heart of Unitarian Universalism, Tom Owen-Towle has given us a description of UU thought that will stand up alongside any other such volume.Each chapter of the book begins with a quote that introduces the topic under consideration.It is from these discussions that flow from the "jumping off" quotes that we see the depth of the authors' thinking.Too many books give us bumper sticker slogans.Tom Owen-Towle gives us considered thought.He sees the issues from "both sides" (as in the story in one of his chapters), inviting the reader to understand the paradoxes that are often a key element in UUism (e.g., the simultaneous importance of reason and science alongside the "mystical" tradition).What I found personally most appealing was Owen-Towle's refusal to withdraw from the field, and failure to give a break to those who do.There ARE things worth arguing about, and worth arguing for.Owen-Towle tells us that we will have to be prepared, with our compassionate arms, for friendly and fair and clean wrestling matches among those both inside and outside the congregations.Simply retiring from uncomfortable discussions, or making excuses for those who would hurt others by acting in ways contrary to the core principles of UUism, is to be avoided, not applauded.I also particularly appreciated Owen-Towle's use of "freethinking" as opposed to "liberal" in his discussions.Owen-Towle writes (p. 16):"we must be vigilant against equating our free spirit with doctrinaire social, economic, or political liberalism."He goes on to quote Roger Greeley, "we are not a liberal movement for liberal causes, let us leave those choices and courses of action to political parties and organizations specifically designed around those principles be they liberal or conservative."Put another way, UUism is a faith of freethinking, and liberality in religion does not necessarily argue for big government, or any other particular political stance.One can be both social liberal (or progressive) and still be a fiscal conservative, for example (as is generally the case with the libertarian political party).What Owen-Towle most gives us in this wonderful volume, however, is permission to embrace the paradox.UUism consists of streams of thought and action that sometimes seem contradictory.He shows us how to embrace both sides, and a framework for evolving into ever better and better people. ... Read more

13. Unitarian Universalism As a Way of Life
by George N Marshall
 Paperback: Pages (1966)

Asin: B003UAMR26
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14. A Green Sound: Nature Writing from the Living Tradition of Unitarian Universalism
Paperback: 64 Pages (1992-07)
list price: US$6.00 -- used & new: US$23.87
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Asin: 1558963014
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53 pgs of writings from various contributors. ... Read more

15. Unitarian Universalism Selected Essays 2002
by Kim R. Schmidt
 Paperback: Pages (2002)

Asin: B003GENYW8
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16. Sesquicentennial Celebration of the First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco; 1850-2000; 150 Years of Unitarian Universalism in San Francisco, California
by First Unitarian Universalist Society Of San Francisco
 Paperback: Pages (2000-01-01)

Asin: B003NY5BE0
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17. Travel in time: Unitarian Universalism for grades five and six
by Lois E Ecklund
 Unknown Binding: 126 Pages (1991)

Isbn: 1558960821
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18. Full Circle: Fifteen Ways to Grow Lifelong Uu's
by Kate Tweedie Ersley
 Paperback: 96 Pages (2004)

Isbn: 1558964754
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19. A Who's Who of UUs : A Concise Biographical Compendium of Prominent and Famous Universalists and Unitarians (U.U.s)
by Gwen Foss
Paperback: 120 Pages (2003-01-01)
-- used & new: US$11.00
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Asin: B000CLAWVY
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Brief biographies of 1350 important persons, living and dead, who happened to be Unitarians, Universalists, or both. ... Read more

20. Freedom Moves West: A History of the Western Unitarian Conference, 1852-1952
by Charles H. Lyttle
Paperback: 304 Pages (2006-06-15)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$25.00
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Asin: 0972501762
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One of the essential works of American Unitarian history, Freedom Moves West tells the story of the growth and development of a distinctive Western variety of American Unitarianism. As religiously liberal pioneers moved from the long-established East to the newly settled territories of the West, they embraced ever more challenging theological positions, constantly expanding the definition of what it means to be Unitarian. ... Read more

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