21st Century Eco-Humanism & Eco-Naturalism

Session: Fall
Type: Online, Synchronous
Units: 3
Days: WED
Time: 2:10pm-5:00pm
Academic Year: 2024 – 2025
Approval Required: No

ECO Core 

This online synchronous course aims to serve as a space for investigation and exploration of Humanism and Naturalism and how they have evolved in the 21st Century into what can be called Eco-Humanism and Eco-Naturalism.

Particular emphasis will be placed on how Eco-supports social justice activism(s) and intersectional, multi-cultural justice work. Too often, white theists and non-theists rest in their own privilege. The continuing relevance of liberal religion depends on an ability to acknowledge weakness, failings, and doing the hard work of de-centering whiteness. While there will be some exploration of the ways in which Humanism and Naturalism have informed Unitarian Universalism, the aim is to have a broader and more inclusive focus. Questions approached will include: What is the history of Humanism? Of Naturalism? How has each been complicit in structures of white supremacy? How are they related? How do they differ? What are some of the untold stories of each? How have they evolved into Eco-Humanism and Eco-Naturalism? How does each inform current social justice activism in the United States? What is the history of Black Humanism? How might we see Eco-Humanism supporting counter oppressive cross-generational community activism and the work of Movement Chaplaincy/Ministry? How does Eco-Naturalism support Environmental and Gender activism? How might both theologies serve to open doors and build bridges between the secular social justice community and liberal religious institutions (including UU)? The hope is that by exploring these and other questions, we can come to a better understanding of these foundational and ever-evolving theologies, reclaiming them as counter oppressive and liberationist for the 21st Century.

Prerequisite: ECO or equivalent.

SKSM Thresholds: (1) Life in Religious Community and Interfaith Engagement, (3)
Sacred Text and Interpretation, (4) History of Dissenting Traditions and the Thea/ological Quest,
(5) Spiritual Practice & Care of the Soul (6) Thea/ology in culture and Context
MFC Competencies: (1) Worship & Rites of Passage (3) Spiritual Development for Self and Others (6) Serves the Larger UU Faith (7) Leads the Faith into the Future

Maximum enrollment: 20. Auditors excluded.