What's New? June is bustin' out. . .
See the Events & Links page for information about two journals of interest to Unitarian Universalists and other religious liberals. It just happens I've published in the latest issues of both, as duly noted. I'd like to advertise other publications, blogs, etc. of interest on this page, as well--so let's be in touch. --GKB
Transforming Liberalism: The Theology of James Luther Adams (Boston: Skinner House, 2005) is now available on Amazon Kindle as an e-book @ $6. A bargain! The book systematizes the notoriously un-systematic Adams, generally regarded as the most important Unitarian Universalist theologian and ethicist of the twentieth century. The structure and contents of the book follow Adams’s themes, and the citations from Adams, including the stories for which he was famous, convey the character and charisma of the man.
The contents of the book are conveyed by the chapter title (keyed to an Adams quote) and, to convey a sense of the content, sub-chapter headings. Adams’s characteristic dialectic– running from being to confronting to renewing–structures the whole.
Introduction– The impact of Adams’s thought; Theology in a prophetic key; “Liberalism is dead, Long Live Liberalism!”
I. Being Religious: “The Intimate and the Ultimate”– Religious consciousness; All are theologians; The Loss of the sacred; Being born anew; Cryastalizing religious understanding
II. Being Human: “The Primacy of the Will”-The Mystery of Human Freedom; Against Angelism; Tragic History; Metanoia; Identity Formation
III. Confronting the Demonic: “Blessed are the powerful”–Power, the mark of the real; The Demonic; Contemporary idolatry; Worldliness and otherworldliness; The courage to confront evil
IV. Confronting Injustice: “By their groups you shall know them”–The moral imperative; The prophetic tradition; The institutionalization of prophetic faith; Voluntary associations; The human vocation
V. Renewing Community: “The coveant of being”–The meaning and the use of covenants; Covenants constitute history; Toward an inclusive covenant; Covenant as creation in time; Covenant, grace, and peace
VI. Renewing Faith: “Taking time seriously”–The inescapablity of faith; Paradoxical faith; Meaning in history; The personalization of faith; Redeeming time
“Religious Freedom and Spiritual Freedom” is an address I gave for the 34th World Congress of the International Association for Religious Freedom, in Birmingham, England, last summer. Considering that they meet only once in every three or four years, it’s not surprising that the IARF should be the oldest inter-religious association in the world. Having observed its flagging fortunes in recent years, I wanted to move us to dig a little deeper into the question, Who are we and what is our mission? As T. S. Eliot said, “A tradition cannot be inherited, it must be earned.” Read more…
To be sung to the tune of “The Old Rugged Cross”:
On an old Beacon Hill
Lived a Channing named Bill,
Was the first to unbutton his mind.
All his reasoning was sound
For he finally found
That a straight will beat three on a kind!
How we cherish that old Beacon Hill,
Where our leader unbuttoned his mind,
Oh, the thought of it gives me a thrill,
That a straight will beat three of a kind!