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If there is light in the soul, there will be beauty in the person. If there is beauty in the person, there will be harmony in the house. If there is harmony in the house, there will be order in the nation. If there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world. — Chinese proverb

Big Question: Do I have a soul?

The word "soul" appears in Unitarian Universalism in the names of some congregations, in hymns and in readings, in articles, sermons and books. "Soul" is a word that means different things to different people and within different faith traditions. Sometimes "souls" is simply used as a synonym for "people." But as a religious term, UU youth have a right to wrestle with its meaning for them, and a right to know that it is a concept UUs can find meaningful. Help youth think about the range of possible meanings for UUs. For example, for some UUs "soul" refers to the center of individual self — one's most true self. To some, it stresses the connective nature of the spiritual self to the Divine or to all other life. To some, it means one's inner light or inner life. Conduct this session as an exploration.

Goals

This session will:

  • Pose the Big Question "Do I have a soul?" and explore Unitarian Universalist responses
  • Offer the concept of soul as a way of understanding the nonphysical self
  • Introduce some traditional religious ideas about soul
  • Encourage youth to explore their core spirit and beliefs
  • Help youth understand the connective nature of "soul."

Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  • Understand the soul as one's inner self or core spirit
  • Expand their ideas about and appreciation of the concept of "soul"
  • Explore connections among "soul," "God" and "Divine"
  • Consider various Unitarian Universalist ideas about the soul.

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For more information contact religiouseducation@uua.org.