Unitarian Beginnings and Heritage in Poland
A Historical Study Tour with the Rev. Dr. Jay Atkinson
JOIN US on a visit to the 16th century’s Unitarian “heartland” where early religious dissenters—who called themselves the Polish Brethren—first established congregations in the 1560s that openly challenged the doctrine of the trinity, rejected infant baptism, and debated the morality of military service from their pacifist devotion to the life of Jesus. In 1569 they founded the “unitarian town” of Raków, whose 450th anniversary we will celebrate as part of our tour.
Our tour leader, the Rev’d Dr. Jay Atkinson, served 32 years in UU parish ministry before retirement, was an adjunct seminary instructor in UU history at Starr King and Meadville Lombard, and is now a research scholar at Starr King School for the Ministry. He visited Poland in 2004, 2006, 2014, and 2017, and has written on the history, ecclesiology, and social ethics of the Polish Brethren as well as on precursors of humanism, religious tolerance, and interfaith pluralism in Poland. He will supplement our site visits with background commentary on the theology, congregational life, and social philosophy of the Polish Brethren and how their ideas influenced their contemporaries and still live on in modern Unitarian Universalism.
The estimated cost for this tour is USD $700 (double occupancy) or $850 (single), including lodging, local transport, all breakfasts, one lunch, and two dinners, but not including travel to and from Poland, which will be the responsibility of each participant. Registration along with a $200 deposit is required by March 30, with full payment by June 15. We hope also to arrange academic credit and scholarship aid for interested UU seminarians and others with limited budgets.
For questions, or to register for the tour, contact Jay Atkinson: jayatk40 [at] gmail [dot] com.