Unitarian Universalism differs from mainline faiths primarily by recognizing that truth is multi-faceted and elusive. UUs affirm that we all learn many different partial truths in our life, but believe that “the whole truth” is inaccessible to human grasp.
They accept that we earthlings are saddled with imperfect vision and incomplete knowledge. They offer no required pathway to God or enlightenment. Instead, they affirm the numerous worthy routes followed by Unitarians and others throughout history.
For example, Unitarian Joseph Priestley came to his truths via the scientific method. Margaret Fuller was a transcendentalist who used her intuition to explore divine mysteries. UU acknowledges the value of scientific, feminist, rational, spiritual, and activistic routes to truth, or any blend thereof, that one might choose.
Furthermore, UUs advocate coming to religious truths experientially. Their beliefs are not so much revealed to them as experienced by them. They encourage their children to develop their own working wisdoms, instead of taking their truths primarily from their parents or tradition.
All who participate in the UU cradle-to-grave religious adventure have the opportunity to develop a faith that is personally meaningful, intellectually sound, socially relevant, and spiritually expansive.
UUs are not ashamed to confess that “truth comes in small installments.” They find that modest and well-lived insights can be ample for sustaining a fulfilling existence.
They also believe that facing this real and known world with integrity is preferable to yearning for an imagined and unknown one later on. As Unitarian Henry David Thoreau stated, “One world at a time, my friend, one world at a time!”
[published July 21, 2023]