What Do UUs Believe?

Unitarian Universalism places value in the individual religious quest, and so the question of what we believe has as many answers as there are UUs!  Individual UU beliefs will vary about everything from salvation to scripture to rituals to God. Rather than teaching a one-size-fits-all faith, we seek to nurture an inquiring mind, a spirit of openness to diversity, and a loving and compassionate heart. 

But UUs do hold common spiritual values.  Great teachers of many faiths have stressed the worth and dignity of human being, the importance of ethical behavior, and the interdependence of all life on our planet. These are core values for our Unitarian Universalist religious movement.

UU congregations covenant to affirm and promote these seven principles

  • The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
  • Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
  • Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
  • A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
  • The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
  • The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
  • Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

Our UU religious perspectives draw from many sources. Religion is a lifelong journey, and thus UUs strive to listen, learn and grow through teachings and wisdom that come from many sources, including:

  • Direct experience of transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life;
  • Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love;
  • Wisdom from the world's religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life;
  • Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God's love by loving our neighbors as ourselves;
  • Humanist teachings which counsel us to focus on this life and how to ethically treat others, to heed the guidance of reason and science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit;
  • Spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.

Our core principles and practices were first articulated and established by liberal Christians in the American Protestant tradition. The American Unitarian Association, which historically emphasized the unity of God and the goodness of human nature, and the Universalist Church of America, which emphasized the goodness of God and a belief in salvation for all persons, merged in 1961 to form the Unitarian Universalist Association. 

For more about Unitarian Universalist history, please visit http://www.uua.org/visitors/ourhistory/6186.shtml


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