Unitarian Universalism (UU) is a liberal religion characterized by a “free and responsible search for truth and meaning”. Unitarian Universalists assert no creed, but instead are unified by their shared search for spiritual growth, guided by a dynamic, “living tradition”. Currently, these traditions are summarized by the Six Sources and Seven Principles of Unitarian Universalism, documents recognized by all congregations who choose to be a part of the Unitarian Universalist Association. These documents are ‘living’, meaning always open for revisiting and reworking. Unitarian Universalist (U.U.) congregations include many atheists, agnostics, and theists within their membership, and there are U.U. churches, fellowships, congregations, and societies all over America, as well as others around the world. The roots of Unitarian Universalism lie in liberal Christianity, specifically unitarianism and universalism. Unitarian Universalists state that from these traditions comes a deep regard for intellectual freedom and inclusive love. Congregations and members seek inspiration and derive insight from all major world religions.
The beliefs of individual Unitarian Universalists range widely, including atheism, agnosticism, pantheism, panentheism, pandeism, deism, humanism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Taoism, syncretism, Omnism, Neopaganism and the teachings of the Baháʼí Faith.
The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) was formed in 1961 through the consolidation of the American Unitarian Association, established in 1825, and the Universalist Church of America, established in 1793. The UUA is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, and serves churches mostly in the United States. A group of thirty Philippine congregations is represented as a sole member within the UUA. The Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC) became an independent body in 2002. The UUA and CUC are, in turn, two of the seventeen members of the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists.
Historically, various forms of Nontrinitarianism have appeared within Christianity. The term may refer to any belief about the nature of Jesus Christ that affirms God as a singular entity and rejects the doctrine of the Trinity, as affirmed by the mainstream Christianity: a consensus of Christian bishops at the First Council of Nicaea in 325. Nontrinitarianism was especially prevalent during the theological turmoils of the Protestant Reformation. A Spanish physician, Michael Servetus, studied the Bible and concluded that the concept of the Trinity, as traditionally conceived, was not biblical. His books On the Errors of the Trinity and Christianismi Restitutio caused much uproar. Servetus was eventually arrested, convicted of heresy, and burned at the stake in Geneva in 1553.
The term “Unitarian” entered the English language via Henry Hedworth, who applied it to the teachings of Laelio Sozzini and the Polish Socinians. Unitarian churches were formally established in Transylvania and Poland (by the Socinians) in the second half of the 16th century. There, the first doctrines of religious freedom in Europe were established (in the course of several diets between 1557 and 1568, see Edict of Torda) under the jurisdiction of John Sigismund, king of Hungary and Prince of Transylvania, the only Unitarian monarch. The early Unitarian church not only rejected the Trinity, but also the pre-existence of Christ as well as, in many cases, predestination and original sin as put forward by Augustine of Hippo, and the substitutionary atonement of Christ developed by Anselm of Canterbury and John Calvin. There were several different forms of Christology in the beginnings of the Unitarian movement; ultimately, the dominant Christology became psilanthropism: that Jesus was a man, but one with a unique relationship to God.
Flaming Chalice: A flame within a cup with a stem and foot, is a primary symbol of the faith tradition. We kindle a flaming chalice in gatherings and worships, the chalice symbol of UU.