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Commission on Appraisal Unitarians Face a New Age 

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Unitarians Face a New Age

The Report of the Commission of Appraisal
to the American Unitarian Association, 1936

pp. 173-206

Over half a century later, this report is still the most complete ever done on Unitarian organization and program. While almost any part of the Commission’s work bears on polity, the second half of the book (page 215 onward) deals with “Institutional Organization and Functioning” and so deserves special attention. And with that section, Chapter II, “Unitarian Religious Values in Their Group Expression” demands study.

From the vantage of today, where does the Commission seem right and wrong in its analysis of Unitarian religious values?

A quotation in the chapter declares, “We have profound differences but are united by something we don’t know how to express” (page 190). Is this a correct assessment or a retreat into vagueness to avoid the reality that Unitarians are not united?

The report declares that Unitarians accept that their faith will “become less distinctive as time passes” (page 206). Has this, indeed, been the case?

The text of this document can be found here.