Tapestry of Faith: Faith Like a River: A Program on Unitarian Universalist History for Adults
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Handout 2: Time Line of UU History

You can download a word document of this timeline here. Timeline of UU History (PDF)

Date

Historical and Religious Events

Unitarian

Universalist

Unitarian Universalist

230 C.E.

Origen, Of Principles

260

Sabellius

Paul of Samosata

325

Council of Nicea

Arius

431

Council of Ephesus reaffirms doctrine of trinity

451

Council of Chalcedon reaffirms doctrine of trinity

543

Justinian's edict condemns Origen's doctrine

544

Church Council declares universal salvation a heresy

927-70

Bogomils (followers of Paul of Samosata and Manichaean; precursors of Cathars, Waldenses, Anabaptists)

1328-84

John Wycliff

1453

Constantinople falls to Muslim Turks

1455

Gutenberg Bible

1517

Martin Luther publishes 95 Theses, launching the Reformation

1527

Charles V's sack of Rome

Martin Cellarius publishes On the Works of God, earliest antitrinitarian book

1531

Michael Servetus, On the Errors of the Trinity

1534

Church of England separated from Rome

1535

Calvin, Institution of Christian Religion

1539

1542

Inquisition assigned to Holy Office by Paul III

1543

Copernicus, Revolutionisbus Orbium Coelestorum

1545-63

Council of Trent (Counter-Reformation)

1549

Book of Common Prayer, Church of England

1553

Servetus burned at the stake, Geneva

1550

Council of Venice

Church of Strangers, London

1566

Frances David preaches against the doctrine of the trinity

1568

Edict of Torda

1579

Death of Frances David

1585

Rakow Press established

1591

Socinian church in Krakow destroyed by mob

1605

Racovian Catechism

1611

King James-authorized English translation of Bible is published

1619

First Africans arrive in Virginia w/same status as English indentured servants

1620

Plymouth Plantation founded

1628

Massachusetts Bay Colony founded as a self-governing theocracy

1635

Colony of Rhode Island established

1637

Samuel Gorton driven out of MA for religious radicalism in espousing universal salvation

1638

Diet of Dees

1642-60

English Civil Wars

1647

John Biddle, XII Arguments Drawn Out of the Scriptures

1648

Cambridge Platform

1649

Act for Religious Toleration passed by Maryland Assembly

1654

John Biddle banished to Scilly Isles

1658

Polish Diet banishes Socinians

1681

Wiliam Penn receives royal tract of land, founding the Pennsylvania colony

1703

Thomas Emlyn imprisoned in Dublin

1730s, '40s

The Great Awakening

1736

Charles and John Wesley arrive in Georgia

1741

George de Benneville emigrates to Pennsylvania

1742

Charles Chauncey, Enthusiasm Described and Cautioned Against

1743

Christopher Sower bible

1753

George deBenneville, The Everlasting Gospel

1759

James Relly, Union

1770

John Murray emigrates to the American colonies

1774

Essex St. Chapel established in London

1776-83

American War of Independence

1777

Caleb Rich organizes General Society to ordain ministers

1778

1779

First Universalist congregation in the Americas, Gloucester, Massachusetts

1785

Universalist Conference at Oxford, Massachusetts

1787

King's Chapel ordination of James Freeman

Elhanan Winchester, The Universal Restoration

1790

Judith Sargent Murray, On the Equality of the Sexes

Philadelphia Convention adopts declaration of faith

1791

Joseph Priestley's library burned in Birmingham, England

1793

Fugitive Slave Law

New England Convention of Universalists

1796

First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia

1800-40

Second Great Awakening

1802

Congregation of the oldest First Church, Plymouth, MA (f. 1620) splits over pastor's liberal ideas, later becomes Unitarian.

1803

Louisiana Purchase

Winchester (New Hampshire) "Confession of Faith"

1804

"Jefferson" Bible

1805

Hosea Ballou, A Treatise on the Atonement

1805

Henry Ware, Sr. appointed as Hollis Professor of Divinity, Harvard

1811

Harvard Divinity School established

1812

War of 1812

1817

Restorationist Controversy begins

1818

Dedham case

1819

Toleration Act in New Hampshire, "Disestablishment"

Channing preaches "Unitarian Christianity," Baltimore, Maryland

Universalist Magazine weekly paper established

1820

Berry Street Conference

1821

The Christian Register first published

1825

Erie Canal completed

British and Foreign Unitarian Association founded

American Unitarian Association founded

1827

Unitarian Sunday School Society founded

1831

William Lloyd Garrison began publishing The Liberator

1832

First recorded meeting of Unitarians in Montreal

1833

Disestablishment of Congregational churches in Massachusetts

Lydia Maria Child, An Appeal in favor of that Class of Americans Called Africans

General Convention of Universalists in U.S. founded

1838

Ralph Waldo Emerson preaches "Divinity School Address"

1840-60

4.2 European immigrants, mostly German and Irish, arrive in the U.S.

1841

Theodore Parker preaches "Transient and Permanent in Christianity"

Church of the Disciples established in Boston

1842

First permanent Unitarian church in Canada established in Montreal

1843

Universalist church established in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

1844

Meadville Theological School established, Meadville, Pennsylvania

1845

Margaret Fuller, Women in the Nineteenth Century

1846

Adin Ballou, Christian Non-Resistance

1848

Seneca Falls Convention

1852

Western Unitarian Association founded

Tufts College established, Medford, Massachusetts

1856

Antoinette Louisa Brown Blackwell ordained

St. Lawrence University and Theological School established, Canton, New York

1859

Charles Darwin, Origin of the Species

1860-90

10 million Northern European and 1 million Scandinavian immigrants arrive in the U.S.

1860

Thomas Starr King arrives in California

1861-64

American Civil War

1862

Universalist Publishing House established

1863

Ordination of Olympia Brown

1865

National Conference of Unitarian Churches founded

1866

Universalist General Convention

1867

Free Religious Association founded

1869

Women's Centenary Aid Association

1870

Centennial Convention (Gloucester, Massachusetts)

1880

Women's Auxiliary Conference

1884

James Freeman Clarke, Ten Great Religions

1887

Western Conference, The Things Most Commonly Believed Today Among Us

1888

Universalism declared the "6th largest denomination in the U.S."

1889

Young People's Christian Union

1890

Universalists establish churches in Japan

1893

World Parliament of Religions held at the Columbian Exposition of the Chicago World's Fair

1896

U.S. Supreme Court's Plessy v. Ferguson decision legalizes racial segregation

Young People's Religious Union

1900-17

New wave of immigration, primarily from Southern and Eastern Europe

1900

International Congress of Free Christians and Other Religious Liberals

1902

Beacon Press established

1904

Starr King School for the Ministry established, Berkeley, California

1915

D.W. Griffith's movie The Birth of a Nation - revived the KKK

1917-18

U.S. Involvement in WW I

1917

Walter Rauschenbusch, Christianizing the Social Order

Universalist Declaration of Social Principles drafted by Clarence Skinner

1919

19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote

1919-33

Prohibition

1925

Scopes Trial

National Conference and AUA merge

Universalists consider merger with Congregationalists

1929

Stock market crash, start of the Great Depression

1937

New Beacon Series of religious education materials launched

1933

First Humanist Manifesto

1936

"Unitarians Face a New Age" published

1937

Universalists consider merger with Unitarians (previous overtures 1899, 1925)

1939

Unitarian Service Committee organized

1940

Universalist Service Committee organized

1941-45

U.S. Involvement in WW II

1942

Norbert Capek dies at Dachau

Universalist Church of America

1944

Church of the Larger Fellowship organized

1945

Humiliati founded

1949

Unitarian Fellowship Movement founded

1953

Council of Liberal Churches (federation of Unitarian and Universalist publications, education and PR)

1954-55

Brown v. Board of Education

1956

Interstate Highway Act/start of urban renewal

1961

Unitarian Universalist Association formed

1961

Canadian Unitarian Council organized

1962

Canadian Unitarian Council officially relates to UUA

1962-65

Second Vatican Council

1963

Unitarian Universalist Service Committee

1964-73

U.S. Involvement in Vietnam War

1965

James Reeb and Viola Liuzzo die at Selma, Alabama

1967

Black Unitarian Universalist Caucus organized

1973

Second Humanist Manifesto

1977

Women and Religion resolution passed at General Assembly

1985

Principles and Purposes adopted

1995

Principles and Purposes amended