Unitarian Universalist History Videos

Here are videos prepared by Unitarian Universalists (UUs) about topics in our history. Use them to supplement programs or for personal learning:

  • Extraordinary Generous Seeking: Thoughts on the Bicentennial of Margaret Fuller's Birth (YouTube), by Rev. Dr. Barry Andrews, editor of The Spirit Leads: Margaret Fuller in Her Own Words. (3:53)
  • Fahs Lecture by Rev. Dr. Mark Morrison-Reed. Sponsored by the Liberal Religious Educators Association and delivered at the 2014 UUA General Assembly. What did Unitarian Universalists (UUs) teach children during the 1940s-50s that led them to join the civil rights movement in the 60s? Weaves together a review of UUA curricula regarding race, the influence of Fahs, and stories of early African-American religious educators, drawing lessons for today. (58:13)
  • Full Circle of Life: The Mabel Tainter Memorial Theater (YouTube). The loss of a beloved daughter prompted wealthy Wisconsinites Andrew and Bertha Tainter to build a Unitarian church and community center served by a charismatic humanist minister. Completed in 1889, the Mabel Tainter Memorial, an architectural gem in Menomonie, Wisconsin, continues today to serve liberal religion and the local community as its founders had intended.Video offered by the UUA Mid-America Region. (Three chapters: 5:57, 7:57, 6:06)
  • Heritage of Heresy: Bisbee and Tuttle on the Universalist Frontier (YouTube). In 1872, Minnesota's Universalists expelled Rev. Herman Bisbee for teaching heresy and for "unbrotherly conduct" toward a senior colleague, Rev. James. H. Tuttle. Twenty years later, Universalists - including Tuttle - had adopted Bisbee's beliefs. Video offered by the UUA Mid-America Region. (Four chapters; 8:23, 9:20, 10:36, 6:57)
  • History of Unitarian Universalist Religious Education (Video). Gail Forsyth-Vail examines the development of UU RE history curricula from the late 18th century to the present, inviting viewers to find common themes and trends, and sharing anecdotes and reflections along the way. (36:32)
  • Long Strange Trip, edited by Ron Cordes. Set of six DVDs detailing the history of Unitarian and Universalist thought from the beginning of the Christian era to what we know today as Unitarian Universalism. There is a UUA discussion guide for each video. Individual DVDs are:
    • In the Beginning (0 a.d.-1553 a.d.) Examines the roots of liberal religious thought. (1:00:00)
    • The Birth of Unitarianism (1553-1794) (1:02:00)
    • American Unitarianism (1620-1860) (1:05:00)
    • Universalism (1600-1860) (1:04:00)
    • Evolution (1861-1961) Follows both Unitarianism and Universalism through the late 19th and early 20th centuries as they evolve from Christian bible-oriented religions to our present-day non-creedal movement. (1:05:00)
    • Unitarian Universalism. Explores the century-long "courtship" between Unitarianism and Universalism, follows Unitarian Universalism through the 50 years of its existence, and ends with some personal comments on what its future might hold. (1:07:00)
  • A Mixing Gesture. A sermon by the Rev. Dr. Susan Ritchie delivered on Oct 6, 2013 at First UU San Diego. Explores some of the insights in her book, Children of the Same God: The Historical Relationship Between Unitarianism, Judaism, and Islam (Skinner, 2014). (23:37) Discussion guide (PDF) for the book includes this video.
  • Olympia Brown (YouTube). A portrayal by the Rev. Dr. Janet H. Bowering. Olympia Brown (1835-1926) dedicated her life to opening doors for women. She was ordained a Universalist minister, the first woman to acheive full ministerial standing recognized by a denomination. She was one of the few original suffragists who lived to vote in the 1920 presidential election.Video recorded for the Universalist Heritage Foundation. (31:51)
  • Our Universalist Heritage (YouTube). The 1803 Winchester Profession of Faith has had a profound effect on Universalism, Unitarian Universalism and other liberal denominations for more than 200 years. This is its story. Video recorded for the Universalist Heritage Foundation. (23:01)
  • Overview of Unitarian Universalist History (YouTube). Rev. Richard Trudeau, keynote speaker at the 2016 Universalist Convocation, presents an overview of UU History that is clear and easy for people to remember, focusing on ideas rather than names or dates. (59:01) View handout (PDF) with outline of lecture.
  • The Utes and the Unitarians (Video). Rev. William Sinkford, 2001-2009 President of the UUA, addresses General Assembly 2009 on the history of Unitarian involvement with the Ute Indigenous Americans. (7:07)
  • Wilderness Journey (YouTube), produced by Ron Cordes. The struggle for black empowerment and racial justice within the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), 1967-1970. (1:16:01)

The Spirit Leads Margaret Fuller in Her Own Words

Also available as an eBook in the Amazon Kindle Store and on Google Play. Commemorates the bicentennial of Margaret Fuller's birth with a dynamic collection of excerpts from her writings.

The Spirit Leads

Olympia Brown

Portrayal of Olympia Brown by the Rev. Dr. Janet H. Bowering (31:51)

Unitarian Universalist Religious Education History

What are the unifying threads of our UU RE history- and how does RE curriculum not only reflect, but shape, how we understand our faith? Join religious educator Gail Forsyth-Vail on a guided tour.