Is Unitarian Universalist congregational culture a barrier to a more diverse faith?
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.
Our narrow niche, by James Kubal-Komoto
The junior high factor, by Jason Shelton
Our rarefied culture, by Offie C. Wortham
Let's take off the hair shirt, by Marilyn Sewell
I'm proud of UU culture, by John F. Katz
Change vision, not culture, by Betty Bobo Seiden
Embrace spiritual complexity, by Cynthia Letts Adcock
Letters to the Editor
Message or culture? by Doug Muder (uuworld.org, 8.17.09)
Can Unitarian Universalism change? by Paul Rasor (Spring 2010)
We must change, by Rosemary Bray McNatt (Spring 2010)
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Christopher L. Walton is editor of UU World. He holds degrees from Harvard Divinity School and the University of Utah and is a member of the Church of the Larger Fellowship.