‘Reclaiming Prophetic Witness’ is Common Read book

The Unitarian Universalist Association’s Common Read book for the upcoming church year is Reclaiming Prophetic Witness: Liberal Religion in the Public Square, by the Rev. Dr. Paul Rasor. The 105-page book was published in 2013 by Skinner House.

Rasor is director of the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom at Virginia Wesleyan College. He is a UU minister and the author of an earlier book, Faith Without Certainty: Liberal Theology in the Twenty-first Century.

A UU theologian, Rasor dispels the myth that conservative Christianity is the only valid religious voice in national debates on social policy. He calls on religious liberals to bring their religious convictions to bear on current issues.

A discussion guide will be available in October. Reclaiming Prophetic Witness was one of 14 books considered for the Common Read. The book is $15 from the UUA Bookstore, with discounts for purchases of multiple copies.

More information about the selection process is on the Call and Response blog of the UUA’s Faith Development Office. In the forward of the book Rasor writes that there has never been a more important time for UUs to speak about about issues including the environment, immigration, and gender.

Rasor book invites religious liberals into the streets

Unitarian Universalist theologian Paul Rasor’s latest book, Reclaiming Prophetic Witness: Liberal Religion in the Public Square, comes at a good time. A few weeks ago several thousand UUs crowded a public street in Phoenix, protesting the existence of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Tent City jail. Rasor’s book is a call to action, inviting us to embrace our prophetic heritage and bring our religious convictions to bear on the issues of the day. He writes that liberal theology must be a liberation theology oriented toward social justice and overcoming oppression.

Speaking historically of one side of our religious heritage, he writes, “Universalism taught that one’s own personal welfare was inseparably linked to the welfare of all of humanity. . . the principle of universal salvation generated a sense of wholeness and harmony that was the theological basis for a truly egalitarian society.”

He continues: “Early Universalists understood, as do contemporary religious liberals, that liberation is social, that human fulfillment and liberation are possible only in a context of open and inclusive communities based on respect and justice.”

The book is available through the UUA Bookstore for $15, with discounts for bulk purchases.