This course begins with a discussion of recent historical developments in Unitarian Universalism and then extends back through time to the various antecedents of Unitarianism and Universalism in pre-Reformation Europe, all the way back to the early church and the Council of Nicea. Students will have the opportunity to explore Unitarian Universalist heritage, as well as different historical approaches. We will examine social location in relation to class, race, and gender identities, and how these enabled or impeded social justice advances. We will discover the origins of our faith by progressing from our known contemporary experience to the unknown, and perhaps unknowable. Along the way we will consider various theological developments within this tradition, as expressed through various identities and the challenges presented by new modalities of faith including Transcendentalism and Humanism. Sources will range from primary sources to anecdote, with an emphasis on articulating contemporary experience in the context of historical identity and experience. Evaluation: Demonstrated preparation, Weekly posts on the Moodle, Final paper or project. Students who take the course for a grade instead of pass/fail are required to submit a 25 page paper with original research. Students who take the class pass/fail have the option to turn in a paper or a project. Projects must be approved in advance.
This course relates to the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Ministerial Fellowship competencies 6 and 7, and the Starr King Thresholds 4 and 6.