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What is UU culture?

Is Unitarian Universalist congregational culture a barrier to a more diverse faith?
By Christopher L. Walton
Summer 2010 5.15.10

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Why isn’t Unitarian Universalism more universal in its appeal? Why, almost two decades after committing to become a multiracial and multicultural faith tradition, is the Unitarian Uni­versalist Association still struggling to welcome people from a broader range of cultural, racial, and ethnic backgrounds?

The Spring issue of UU World featured provocative articles by the Rev. Dr. Paul Rasor and the Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt that explored these questions. Rasor asked, “Do we reflect the pluralistic and multicultural reality of our time, or have we fatally linked our brand of religious liberalism to a culture that is disappearing?” McNatt observed that “race and ethnicity have stood in during our conversations for something more ineffable, more complex, more edgy than we are willing to discuss. We are speaking as well about matters of culture—Unitarian Universalist culture.”

We invited readers to respond to Rasor and McNatt, and asked: What is “UU culture”? In what ways does UU culture embody our deepest values? In what ways does it express narrow or exclusive assumptions about who truly belongs? A handful of responses appear below, with more online at uuworld.org and in the Letters section, page 8.

Responses in the Summer issue

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