a digital library of Unitarian Universalist biographies, history, books, and media
the digital library of Unitarian Universalism
Home » Congregational Polity » “The Church and the Parish in Massachusetts,” by George E. Ellis

“The Church and the Parish in Massachusetts,” by George E. Ellis

“The Church and the Parish in Massachusetts: Usage and Law”

George E. Ellis

in Unitarianism: Its Origin and History

(American Unitarian Association, 189C)

George Edward Ellis

George Edward Ellis
Courtesy of Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School

George Ellis (1814-94), ordained in 1840, was for 30 years minister in Charlestown, Massachusetts. He was a frequent contributor to AUA publications and a student of the “Unitarian Controversy.”

This edited version of his lecture, originally given in Dedham, in 1888, is generally credited with allowing the Unitarians “to inherit” a denomination.

The unedited text demonstrates even more than what is included, the bitterness caused by the Dedham Decision.

  1. What arguments could be advanced for both the parish and the church?
  2. Can Unitarians today defend a decision which chose often religiously uncommitted “property holders” over those who carried on the work of the church as important in their lives?
  3. What attitudes in contemporary thought are drawn down from Dedham? What practices seem-to result from a decision that “gave” churches to the Unitarians?

The full text is available via Google Books. For the relevant excerpt, see here: “The Church and the Parish in Massachusetts: Usage and Law.”

Series Navigation<< “Remarks on Associations,” by William Ellery Channing“Unitarian Universalist Denominational Structure,” in Conrad Wright’s Walking Together >>
Tagged with:
Categories: Congregational Polity

Notable in UU History
Samuel Longfellow

Longfellow, Samuel (1819-1892)

Samuel Longfellow was born June 13, 1819, in Portland, Maine. He was the youngest of eight ... Read More

Starhawk: Invocation

Nameless One—of many names Eternal—and ever-changing One Who is found nowhere—but appears everywhere Beyond—and within all ... Read More
Norbert Fabian Capek

Norbert Fabian Capek (1870-1942)

Norbert Fabian Capek was one of the martyrs of the free faith. Because he was an ... Read More
Arthur Lamb

Lamb, Arthur Becket (1880-1952)

Below are two biographical perspectives on Arthur Becket Lamb, the first from The Journal of American Chemical ... Read More