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A History of Death: Unitarian Universalist Style

The earliest Anglo-American burials in Puritan North America took place in graveyards, where grave markers often included the motif of a skull, or death head, sometimes with or without wings.  These markers, as well as the burial grounds themselves, were intended to make people fearful. …

Congregational Polity 101

Harvard Square is glad to present this brief yet comprehensive guide to the essential components of congregational polity, in six basic principles and in four primary source voices.  If you would like a more detailed treatment of the topic, you can access Rev.…

Ceremonies for Special Services in Universalist Churches, 1949, Humiliati

Background

In the mid 1940’s, a young group of seminary graduates from the Crane School of Theology at Tufts University had a vision.  Concerned that Universalism was outdated and in fatal decline, this small group of ministers at the beginning of their careers sought to “pursue an intense spiritual journey into ministry and work mightily to transform the Universalist Church from a struggling dissident Christian sect into a religion of greatness.”  They formed the “Humiliati” – an intentional, semi-monastic religious community, with the goals of establishing a theological basis for pushing Universalism beyond Christianity, complete with new worship and rites of passage for a reinvigorated Universalist Church (read more about the choice of name here).…

The Humiliati: Reinventing Universalism, 1946-1954

 

In the mid 1940’s, a young group of seminary graduates from the Crane School of Theology at Tufts University had a vision.  Concerned that Universalism was outdated and in fatal decline, this small group of ministers at the beginning of their careers sought to “pursue an intense spiritual journey into ministry and work mightily to transform the Universalist Church from a struggling dissident Christian sect into a religion of greatness.”  They formed the “Humiliati” – an intentional, semi-monastic religious community, with the goals of establishing a theological basis for pushing Universalism beyond Christianity, complete with new worship and rites of passage for a reinvigorated Universalist Church (read more about the choice of name here).…

Summer Reading: Explore Unitarian Universalist History Through Novels

While there are many Unitarian Universalist authors, not many novels take on explicitly Unitarian Universalist subject matter. Here are four exceptions—all highly readable pieces worthy of space on your beach  blanket, and each with its own take on Unitarian Universalist history.…

The Pentagon Papers and the Unitarian Universalist Association:  How the UUA Was Almost Destroyed by the Decision to Publish

The Key Roles of a Unitarian Universalist Senator, Journalist, President, Publishing House and Congregation in One of the Most Important Civil Liberties Case in American History.

The December of 2017 release of the blockbuster Stephen Spielberg movie “The Post” has everyone taking about the Washington Post’s brave defiance of the Nixon administration with its decision to publish excerpts from the Pentagon Papers, the 7,000-page compilation of secret government documents pertaining to the war.  …

West, Robert Nelson (1929-2017)

By Tom Stites

(this article was originally published in the UU World on October 30, 2017; Harvard Square Library is grateful to Tom Stites and the UU World for permission to reprint it here.  The original article can be accessed here).…

The Greatest Showman:  The Complicated Legacy of P.T. Barnum

Hugh Jackman’s biopic of P.T. Barnum, “The Greatest Showman,” was released late in 2017 to record breaking box office success.  And while no one expects complete factuality from a biopic, many critics have been rightly alarmed by how the show “whitewashes” Barnum’s troubling relationship with the human side show “curiosities” that made him famous.   …

On Thanksgiving Day, Remember Fast Day: a feature by Dean Grodzins

 

Americans have forgotten Fast Day, although it once was as important a holiday as Thanksgiving. In fact, it was paired with Thanksgiving and considered its necessary complement.

Thanksgiving and Fast Day originated together in colonial New England. Most Americans think Thanksgiving celebrations started in 1621, when Pilgrim settlers and Wampanoag Indians feasted at Plymouth.…

Forbes, John Perkins (1855-1910)

John Perkins Forbes was born in Middleboro, Massachusetts, March 25, 1855. He attended the public schools of Middleboro, and was, for a time, a pupil in Middleboro Academy. Later the family moved to Westboro, Massachusetts, and there he began the study of law.…