Sacred Texts in Unitarian Universalism

Ancient scroll of Isaiah found in Qumran on display at Israel Museum.

One might say that life is our scripture. While Unitarianism and Universalism both have roots in the Protestant Christian tradition, where the Bible is the sacred text, we now look to additional sources for religious and moral inspiration. Over two centuries, our religious tradition, a “living tradition,” has branched out from its roots. We celebrate the spiritual insights of the world’s religions, recognizing wisdom in many scriptures.

When we read scripture in worship, whether it is the Bible, the Dhammapada, or the Tao Te-Ching, we interpret it as a product of its time and its place. There is wisdom there, and there are inspiring stories, but scripture is not to be interpreted narrowly or oppressively. It can be beautiful, inspirational and wise. But in our tradition, scripture is never the only word, or the final word.

From the beginning we have trusted in the human capacity to use reason and draw conclusions about religion. Influenced by experience, culture, and community, each of us ultimately chooses what is sacred to us.

I have told stories and read poetry from the Bible throughout the twenty-one years of my Unitarian Universalist ministry. Yet the Bible remains for me but one rich source among many human records that speak to us of the joys and challenges of being alive.  – Rev. Donna Morrison-Reed


Understanding the Bible An Introduction for Skeptics, Seekers, and Religious Liberals

By John A. Buehrens

From Beacon Press

Designed to help empower skeptics, seekers, nonbelievers, and those of a liberal and progressive outlook to reclaim the Bible from literalists.

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People of many backgrounds and beliefs worship together in Unitarian Universalism.

The six sources of our spirituality and understanding of the sacred include "Jewish and Christian teachings" and "wisdom from the world's religions."

A young UU woman in a headscarf smiles.

We are people of many beliefs. The stories, poetry, and teachings of ancient scriptures are a significant source of inspiration for a number of Unitarian Universalists.

An open Bible with a red ribbon bookmark

Scripture Unbound A Unitarian Universalist Approach

By Jonalu Johnstone

From Skinner House Books

In this insightful guide, minister Jonalu Johnstone provides an introduction to reading sacred texts, discusses Unitarian Universalist views of scripture, and suggests ways to use sacred texts within our congregations.

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Unitarian Universalism and Sacred Texts

By Erica Shadowsong

A helpful introduction to the Unitarian Universalist Principle of “a free and responsible search for truth and meaning” and how Unitarian Universalists connect with the sacred. Pack of 25 pamphlets.To read this pamphlet click here.

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