3/12/2024 – I Before We, Except Overseas: Tracing the Roots of our Multi-Century Identity Crisis by Ken Eng

I Before We Except Overseas – Tracing The Roots Of Our Multi-Century Identity Crisis
Most cultures of European descent cultivate individual identity more than other cultures of the world. We have to go back 60, or 100, or perhaps 300 years to find the roots of our contemporary debates over the role of identity in our society. One intriguing theory is that this focus on individual identity has been intentional and has a distinct purpose. This talk will look at some theories that help explain how we have ended up with increasingly destabilizing disagreements about culture and politics in North America and Europe.

2/12/2024 – Understanding our Supreme Courts: US and Canadian Perspectives

February’s NAUA Academy session featured three experts discuss the ways in which the Supreme Courts of the USA and Canada function to support our democracies. They note the ways in which the courts work, are appointed, their public support and some of the significant effect their decisions have on each of us and our social institutions.

1/23/2024 – Plus ça change: David Reich revisits his 2010 satire, “The Antiracism Trainings”

David Reich has written a funny, incisive novel about race, religion, and office politics.  He’s fearlessly unpious, observant, and witty, but he’s also fair to his flawed and often enjoyably irksome characters.  His gift for finding nuanced humanity in their semi-good intentions gives warmth and life to this quietly ambitious satire. -Carlo Rotella, author of Cut Time: An Education at the Fights.

David Reich’s thoughtful satire about a faithless Jewish editor of a magazine published by a post-Christian secular religion depicts a world where orthodoxy has replaced belief, where ideology has supplanted intelligence-a world easily mistaken for our own.    -John Biguenet, author of Oyster and The Torturer’s

Other recorded sessions from the NAUA Academy are available at: https://naunitarians.org/project/anti-racist-trainings/

12/13/2023 – Lessons from the Unitarian Quest for Consensus 1865-1895 by Kevin McCulloch

The Transcendentalist critique of historical Christianity created a rift in the Unitarian church between traditional-minded Unitarian Christians and more radical Free Religionists who felt that the church should embrace a more universal form of religion. Although the National Conference of Unitarian Churches was founded in 1865, it took nearly 30 years for the conference participants to reach consensus on a statement that defined what it meant to be a Unitarian. Since we are living through another period where there is a lack of consensus on what Unitarianism and Unitarian Universalism are all about, we will revisit this earlier conflict to see what lessons it holds for us today.

Speaker: A lifelong UU, Kevin McCulloch holds a Master’s of Theological Studies from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, where he studied American religious history. He most recently taught Unitarian Universalist history as a member of the adult religious education committee at All Souls Church Unitarian in Washington, DC.

11/14/2023 – Parliament of the World’s Religions by Bruce Knotts

“We accept all Religions as Truth” are the words spoken by Swami Vivekananda at the founding of the Parliament of the World’s Religions in 1893 in Chicago. Our speaker is Bruce Knotts, a Trustee of the Parliament of the World’s Religions.

Bruce discusses the founding and history of the Parliament of the World’s Religions, as well as its Mission to create and cultivate harmony among the world’s religious and spiritual communities, foster their engagement with the world and its guiding institutions in order to achieve a just, peaceful and sustainable world. This same sentiment is reflected in the 6th Principle of Unitarian Universalism, ”the goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all”.