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Unitarian Universalists


Paul Rich adds a geographical dimension to our study of Unitarian Universalists, except that he is talking about Unitarians, without the Universalists. They must be only a fraction of Unitarians. Since Paul lives in Mexico, and does not mention it, I assume there are no Unitarians there, or indeed in Latin America, except for a few isolated pockets. He says:

"Unitarianism is a little more complex than the emails have made out. For example, the first Anglican or Episcopalian church in New England, King's Chapel, became Unitarian after the Revolution and it retains the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer, with the Trinity deleted. There are Unitarian congregations in the Midwest that owe their origins to Iceland, where the Lutheran Church became Arian. One meets Unitarians whose origins were in Hungary and Rumania, where the parish churches in the Middle Ages gradually came under the influence of a sort of latitudinarianism and where to this day an entire village will be Unitarian: Both countries have Unitarian bishops. In Ireland, the Unitarians are known as Non Subscribing Presbyterians and retain synods, moderators and other Presbyterian polity.

I think sometimes people confuse Unitarianism with the Ethical Culture movement, which also has had strong ties with Harvard. Certainly in cold roast Beacon Hill Boston, Unitarianism goes along with cloth coats, purple paned glass, the Porcellian, and the Myopia. It is not surprising that Marquand's characters attended the Arlington Street Unitarian Church. I once asked an elderly Ratliffe friend who was prominent in Boston charities why there were no Unitarian missionaries. She was puzzled. All her friends, were."

Ronald Hilton - 7/04/00


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