Handout 5: The Unitarian Universalist Principles
Unitarian Universalist Principles (1961)
The Association, dedicated to the principles of a free faith, shall:
(a) Support the free and disciplined search for truth as the foundation of religious fellowship;
(b) Cherish and spread the universal truths taught by the great prophets and teachers of humanity in every age and tradition, immemorially summarized in the Judeo-Christian heritage as love to God and love to humankind;
(c) Affirm, defend, and promote the supreme worth and dignity of every human personality, and the use of the democratic method in human relationships;
(d) Implement the vision of one world by striving for a world community founded on ideals of brotherhood, justice, and peace;
(e) Serve the needs of member societies;
(f) Organize new churches and fellowships and otherwise extend and strengthen liberal religion;
(g) Encourage cooperation among people of good will in every land.
Unitarian Universalist Principles (1985)
We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote
- 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.
The living tradition which we share draws from many sources:
- Direct experience of that 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 heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit;
- (Added in 1995) 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.
Grateful for the religious pluralism which enriches and ennobles our faith, we are inspired to deepen our understanding and expand our vision. As free congregations we enter into this covenant, promising to one another our mutual trust and support.
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