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.

Author sought for theology curriculum

The Resource Development Office of the UUA’s Ministries and Faith Development staff group is seeking authors who can help develop a religious education training module specifically for online learning. Until now, all the UUA’s Renaissance Modules­—fifteen-hour trainings for religious educators—have required in-person meetings. The new module, on UU theology, would be used online to reach leaders unable to attend in-person sessions.

Inquiries should go to Pat Kahn, children and families program director. She is seeking authors with instructional design expertise and familiarity with software options, as well as a grounding in Unitarian Universalist theology.

More information, including how to apply, is here. The deadline for application is June 15.

‘What Moves Us’ adult curriculum ready

A new adult curriculum, “What Moves Us: Unitarian Universalist Theology,” by the Rev. Dr. Thandeka, is available online through the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Lifespan Faith Development staff group’s Tapestry of Faith program.

The curriculum uses ten 90-minute sessions (expandable to two hours) to explore the life experiences and theological writings of historic and contemporary UU theologians, highlighting those moments that caused them to have a change of heart, a new hope, or a deeper understanding of their faith. What Moves Us invites UUs to engage in their own theological reflections through examining their own experiences.

Theologians included in the What Moves Us curriculum are William Ellery Channing, Hosea Ballou, Margaret Fuller, George deBenneville, Charles Chauncy, James Luther Adams, Sophia Lyon Fahs, Forrest Church, William F. Schulz, and Thandeka. It is being field tested by 12 congregations and cluster groups, but is available for other congregations as well.

Thandeka has taught at Meadville Lombard Theological School at the University of Chicago, San Francisco State University, Harvard Divinity School, Brandeis University, and others. She is the founder of Affect Theology, which investigates the links between religion and emotions, and the author of several books and articles including Learning to Be White: Money, Race and God in America.

Find out more about What Moves Us here.