Skip to main content

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 <www.icuu.net>

Comments

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?
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.

Popular posts from this blog

From liberalism to radicalism

I've been reflecting recently on the journey I've been making from liberalism to radicalism, and how I'm beginning to see it as a necessary evolution if you're not going to get stuck in a kind of immature liberalism that fails to serve both you and the world. By liberalism I mean ideas and movements that emphasise personal freedom and not being restricted by the patterns of the past. By radicalism I mean ideas and movements that emphasise justice, solidarity, and liberation from oppression. Yes, I'm using broad categories here. Let me give an example. Let's talk about sexual liberation in a Western context for example. We can talk about women getting more agency over their bodies; gay and bi people being able to have sex with one another and marry one another; we can talk about the work of overcoming shame around sexuality. All of that is liberalism. It's good stuff. It's still ongoing. So we might ask the question "where next for sexu

Am I an activist?

  I remember being at some protest outside the Senedd once, and someone introduced me to someone else, and said, "Stephen is an activist." I remember thinking - am I? I don't know. What does it mean to be an activist? Who gets to use that title? Am I an activist because I turn up at a few protests? Or do I have to be one them organising the protest to be an activist? Do I have to lead? Do I have to do the organisational work to be an activist? Because the truth is that since I moved to Cardiff I have kept myself at the periphery of a lot of activist groups. I go to meetings, I hear about things, I turn up at protests, but I have rarely got really fully involved. Why is that? It's not for the reason that I don't have time. I do, in fact. But often I sit in these meetings and protests and think "Is this effective? Is it worthwhile? Is it going to produce something at the end of it all that is worth the effort?" I suppose, coming from the world of church I

LOST and theology: who are the good guys?

***Spoiler alert*** I'm continuing some theological/philosophical reflections while re-watching the series LOST. One of the recurring themes in LOST is the idea of the "good guys" and the "bad guys." We start the series assuming the survivors (who are the main characters) are the "good guys" and the mysterious "Others" are definitely bad guys. But at the end of series 2 one of the main characters asks the Others, "Who are  you people?" and they answer, in an extremely disturbing way, "We're the good guys." The series develops with a number of different factions appearing, "the people from the freighter" "the DHARMA initiative" as well as divisions among the original survivors. The question remains among all these complicated happenings "who really are the good guys?" I think one of the most significant lines in the series is an episode when Hurley is having a conversation with