Friday, May 16, 2014

Love and Wisdom: A Unitarian Universalist Tagline

An Early Christian Sarcophagus from the Arles Archaeological Museum

Love and Wisdom, or the searching for Love and the cultivating of Wisdom, intertwine so finely that they appear as one thread in our lived spiritual experience. In the image above, Christ as the good shepherd and a devotee with her arms upraised in the orans prayer posture, together visually condense the best of loving devotion and wise guidance. But Love and Wisdom as aspirations and activities extend far before Christianity in the Mediterranean and Ancient Near East. Sumerian and Egyptian religious literature are chock full of scribal advice on how to swim through the uncertainties of life, including being slow to anger and peacefulness. Love and devotion to goddesses, such as Inanna, Cybele and Isis formed the cornerstone of religious practice in Sumeria, Anatolia, and Egypt.

While Unitarian Universalism often seems to lack a spiritual grounding, turning its attention to the profound need for social justice and activism, our history, arguably, could reclaim Love and Wisdom as rightful heirs to the Universalism and Unitarianism of the 19th century. The Universalism whose basic tenet identifies God as loving creation so much that no one would be sent to Hell and Unitarianism which sought to strip Christianity of multiplicity in the aim of a logical unity of the Divine, in tandem express a Love and Wisdom theology. 

Let us love, wisely and never forget our hearts in wisdom.

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