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“The Unitarian Church Matures and Finds its Mission” By Earl Morse Wilbur

Chapter XXIII: “The Unitarian Church Matures and Finds Its Mission”

Earl Morse Wilbur

in A History of Unitarianism in Transylvania, England, and America

(Harvard, 1952) pp. 467-87

Earl Morse Wilbur

Wilbur ends his second volume and 45 years of historical study of the Unitarian movement.…

Tillich, Paul (1886-1965)

Paul Tillich

When Hitler came to power, this vigorously anti-Nazi philosopher of power was the first non-Jewish professor to be expelled from his post. Thanks to Reinhold Neibuhr’s efforts, Paulus Johannes Tillich became one of Hitler’s gifts to the New World.…

Paul Tillich

Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre (1881-1955)

A contribution of great thought came from a priest who came to the shores of the United States in 1951 and died and was buried here in 1955. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, the Roman Catholic paleontologist taught us new ways in which religion is related to science.…

Pierre Teilhard de chardin

Murray, John Courtney (1904-1967)

John Courtney Murray

The first book of John Courtney Murray was We Hold These Truths: Catholic Reflections on the American Proposition. When it was published in 1960, Time magazine ran a feature article and also put Murray’s picture on the cover as “unquestionably the intellectual bellwether of this new Catholic and American frontier” of building the city.…

John Courtney Murray

Wise, Stephen (1874-1949)

Stephen Wise

Consider “Stephania”—the code word of hope that spread from captive to captive in the Nazi death camps. This symbol of longing for liberation from unutterable atrocities sprang up in tribute to an American rabbi who was known to be working with all his might to rescue victims of Hitler’s reign of horror.…

Stephen Wise

Fosdick, Harry Emerson (1878-1969)

When he was seven, Harry’s mother collapsed. Caring for three children amidst deepening debt were factors in her first nervous breakdown. Later on she sought to comfort her son amidst his dread that he had committed an unpardonable sin, which would thrust him into the everlasting hell described by their family pastor’s fire and brimstone sermons.…

Henry Emerson Fosdick

Reeb, James (1927-1965)

In 1965 fifty nuns marched in Selma, Alabama to get ‘liberty and justice for all,” They marched arm in arm with black and white laity and clergy of varied faiths. They responded to the call of Martin Luther King, Jr. to put their lives on the line in a protest affirming faith in the American Creed of individual equality in freedom.…

James Reeb

Thurman, Howard (1899-1981)

Howard Thurman. Courtesy of Boston University.

A strong example of relevance in ministry is Howard Thurman, who left a secure position as a university professor to pioneer in the founding of the first effectively integrated church in twentieth-century America. What his life’s work has meant is told in Footprints of Dream: the Story of the Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples in San Francisco.…

Howard Thurman

Notable in UU History
Coolidge, William David (1873-1975)

Coolidge, William David (1873-1975)

Below are two biographical sketches of William David Coolidge, the first from the National Academy of ... Read More
David Park

Park, David (1911-1960)

David Park was a rebel against his inherited faith. After years of struggle to express himself ... Read More
Samuel R. Calthrop

Calthrop, Samuel R. (1829-1917)

Samuel R. Calthrop was one of the most unique and vital personalities in the Unitarian Fellowship ... Read More
Stephen Jay Gould

Gould, Stephen Jay (1941-2002)

Stephen Jay Gould, Harvard’s outspoken and often controversial paleontologist whose groundbreaking work on evolutionary theory—coupled with ... Read More