Wednesday, May 10, 2006

ICUU Theological Symposium

This looks intersting. I won't be able to go, as I can't afford it and couldn't get the time off work. I might try to go to the next one in 5 years. I'm glad this is happening though, as I really think we need more theological reflection, and it needs to be a global conversation.

ICUU Theological Symposium - Kolozsvar, Romania 3-8 July 2006

The ICUU International U-U Theological Symposium, "Liberal Religion for Changing Global Society" is just around the corner, but there is still time to register.

Held this year in historic Kolozsvar (Cluj-Napoca) Romania, the center of the Transylvanian Unitarian Church, the Symposium draws U-U theologians, thinkers, and learners from all corners of the globe. Major speakers are the Rev. John Buehrens, former UUA President, talking about how theology shapes us, and the Rev. Dr. Paul Rasor, UU theologian, describing "Postmodernity, Globalization, and the Future of Liberal Theology."

A dozen other presenters will offer their perspectives in lecture, seminar and panel discussions. They come from Transylvania, Spain, New Zealand, Canada, the Czech Republic, the UK, India and the USA. Their papers consider, among other things, relations between church and state, terrorism in the world-at -large, the impact of indigenous perspectives on modern theology, the role of liberal theology in southern hemisphere cultures, the changing theological influences on worship, and lessons from modern theological thinkers like Vaclav Havel and James Luther Adams. Three further examples: Rev Derek McCullough from New Zealand will base his talk on the writings of Juliet Batten, Lloyd Geering and Brian Swimme and explores the development of a calendar of spiritual celebrations based on local seasonal and cosmological events. Rev Richard Boeke (USA/UK) will present a paper dealing with a fundamental tension in our movement; Wilfred Cantwell Smith's book, FAITH AND BELIEF, is central to his discussion, where he looks at the role of faith traditions and the continuing inspiration of the holy in nature, under the title "Fideology". Jaume de Marcos, a computer expert and translator by profession and holding a Master's degree in History of Religions will examine the issue of defining a religious identity for the Unitarian*Universalist faith for a globalized society and how the existing conflicts may be overcome by finding theological common ground. Given the difficulties in finding common God-centered beliefs shared by all Unitarians of different historical lineages (or even within the same lineage), his paper introduces, as a proposal for further discussion, a theology with 3 pillars: a person-centered approach based upon the sacredness of the inner, actualized self, and a soteriology of liberation, encompassing 3 concentric circles: individual, social, and ecological.

ICUU member groups in Europe, South America, North America, India, Africa, and Asia will be represented, as will each of the main U-U theological schools. Worship will be a daily part of the symposium, with morning and evening services led by small groups of participants, representing the wide diversity and the common elements of our particular cultural traditions. All participants will have an opportunity to participate in worship, panel discussions, seminars, and /or affinity groups, to get to know each other better. The working language of the symposium will be English. Our hosts have organized special programs to highlight Transylvanian UU history and culture.

If you have wondered about the breadth and scope of our U-U movement world-wide, this is your opportunity to take part! The Symposium takes place only every 5-6 years. Please join us!

Opening Ceremony, Monday Evening, July 3, 2006
Closing - Friday evening, July 7, 2006
Also being presented at the Symposium is Bill Wallace’s “Sacred Energy/Mass of The Universe” .

For registration information, please visit the ICUU website <>


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder why UUs are flocking to Eastern Europe to preach their theology / ideology?

Where is the Romanian Unitarian bishop? Shouldn't he be invited to speak?

7:31 am  
Blogger Jaume said...

Perhaps Anonymous will like to know that Bishop Szabo actually opened the Symposium with a theologically dense and interesting lecture on Confession as the way for self-definition in the Transylvanian Unitarian Church.

Of course nobody went to preach to Kolozsvar, but to share and to learn from one another. I was pleased to notice that almost half of the audience where young Transylvanian ministers and students. There was a relevant British Unitarian presence as well.

I hope that the proceedings will be published soon for general availability.

6:21 pm  

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