Activity time: 40 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Leader Resource 2, Time Line of Reason as a Source of Religious Belief
- Workshop 1, Handout 2, Time Line of UU History
- Handout 1, Humanism and its Aspirations - Humanist Manifesto I
Preparation for Activity
- Copy Handout 1, Humanism and its Aspirations - Humanist Manifesto I.
- Print out and review Leader Resource 2, Time Line of Reason as a Source of Religious Belief. Prepare to present the material, either by reading aloud or paraphrasing.
- Post the Time Line of UU History from Workshop 1.
- Write on newsprint, and set aside:
- What do you see as the major gains and losses of an increased importance of reason in religion?
- Optional: On the American Humanist Association website, find Humanist Manifesto II (1973) and Humanism and Its Aspirations: Humanist Manifesto III (2003). Copy these for all participants if you wish to extend this activity into a longer conversation about humanism.
Description of Activity
Present Leader Resource 2, Time Line of Reason as a Source of Religious Belief. Engage the group to help you add significant information and events to the Time Line of UU History. Solicit additional events to include. Allow fifteen minutes for this portion of the activity.
Distribute Handout 1, Humanism and its Aspirations - Humanist Manifesto I. Tell participants this document was signed by a number of Unitarian ministers and one Universalist minister in 1933. Allow participants a few minutes to read the manifesto, then invite comments, observations, and questions. Allow ten minutes for this part of the activity.
Now post the sheet of newsprint you have prepared and ask participants to move into groups of three or four to reflect on the posted question. Allow ten minutes for sharing in groups.
Re-gather the large group and have volunteers share comments and observations about reason as a source of religious authority.
If you have chosen to have an extended discussion of the humanism in your large group, distribute Humanist Manifestos II and III. Offer participants a few minutes with these documents, then continue facilitating a conversation in the large group, rather than moving into smaller groups.