Monthly Archives: June 2010

Dragged Kicking and Screaming into Heaven

Thank you to the various people who made suggestions (at this or other blogs) of material for the Universalism course.  The final syllabus is still months away, so there’s still plenty of time to tweak it.  One suggestion for contemporary Universalist resources was made by Patrick McLaughlin at Dan Harper’s blog: Rev. Mark Morrison-Reed’s sermon “Dragged Kicking and Screaming into Heaven.”  Dan expressed the hope that it would show up online, and others may find it interesting, so here are the pointers:

The sermon in pdf form:

The sermon in mp3 form:



Filed under Unitarian-Universalism, Universalism

Draft Sketch of Universalism Course

A commenter asked about the amount of historical material in the Universalism course for Starr King School for the Ministry, and it seems logical to provide the basic outline in case folks want to respond to today’s query about what material they would suggest for the syllabus.  So, here is the rough sketch of teaching units taken from the initial course proposal.  Some of these categories have mostly been determined, while others have room left for more material to be added.  The actual title of the course is “Universalism: History, Theology, Practice,” so all three will receive consideration:

Week 1: The Biblical and Early Christian Roots of Universalism
-material from Origen and other early Christian fathers, etc.

Week 2: Forerunners to denominational Universalism
-material from Charles Chauncey, de Benneville, Relly, etc.

Week 3: The founding of Universalism in North America
-material from John Murray, Winchester, Rush, etc.

Week 4: The maturation of Universalism
-material from Hosea Ballou, the Winchester and other professions, etc.

Week 5: Theological Controversies
-material on Ultra-Universalism vs. Restoration Universalism, fascination/rejection of Spiritualism

Week 6: Social Effects of Universalism
-material on abolition, women’s rights, temperance, welfare, science, utopianism, religious freedom, etc.

Week 7: Universalist Missions
-material on Quillen Shin, frontier Universalism, missions to Philippines, Japan, Canada, seminaries, African-American Universalism, etc.

Week 8: Giants of the New Century
-material from Clarence Skinner, the Humiliati, etc.

Week 9: Expanding the Circle
-material from Kenneth Patton, Universalist Humanism, Universalism as world religion, etc.

Week 10: Moving Toward Consolidation
-material on antecedents to the merger with the Unitarians, consolidation, after-effects, etc.

Week 11: Other Universalists
-material on Universalism in mainline Protestantism, Quakerism, Primitive Baptists, etc.

Week 12: The Dharma of Universalism
-material on Universalist attitudes in Mahayana Buddhism, Jodo Shinshu, Shinran, etc.

Week 13: Rise of Evangelical Universalism
-material from Carlton Pearson, new Universalists, etc.

Week 14: Continuing Presence of Universalism Within UUism
-material from contemporary Universalist services, Universalist influences on Principles, new publications, Cathedral of the World, etc.


Filed under Liberal Religious History, Universalism

Suggestions for Universalism Syllabus for UU Seminarians

The UU Salon question this month is about Universalism.  As it so happens, your Transient and Permanent host will soon be teaching a course on Universalism for Starr King School of the Ministry, one of the two Unitarian-Universalist seminaries.  This is believed to be the only current academic course on Universalism on the planet, though it is difficult to verify that assumption (there are courses that include some material on Universalism, but apparently none with a specific Universalist focus). Even if–hopefully–there really are other courses on this subject being taught somewhere, it’s undeniable that this is a woefully neglected topic of historical and theological instruction and research.  Luckily, the SKSM course will be offered online, so students and interested parties anywhere in the world will be able to participate.

The syllabus is in the process of being formulated.  Do you have suggestions for material that you think ought to go on the list?  Howabout more contemporary Universalist materials?  No promises, but this is your opportunity to possibly help shape the religious instruction of future UU and other liberal ministerial leaders.


Filed under Liberal Religious History, Universalism