A nice chat with other member of Universalist National Memorial Church after services today, over coffee. As sometimes happens, the matter of books came up, which merged with another comment about Hosea Ballou, and from there to books about Universalism.
I recommended two smallish, straight-forward books and a documentary history, if with reservations. Both are institutional histories, and both are irenic towards Unitarianism, positing Universalism as a close relation rather than a religious tradition on its own terms. Fine as denominational works, but also a bit unsatisfying for informing a faith, particularly a Christian faith. Of course, theological universalism is hot now -- in evangelical circles, and so many of the faith-forward works are better for evangelicals. And the academic works are good for academics.
There's room for a primer. In the mean time, here are those three books.
- The Larger Faith by Charles A. Howe
- American Universalism by George Huntston Williams
- Universalism in America: A Documentary History of a Liberal Faith, ed. by Ernest Cassara
All three are from Skinner House, but only the first two are available at the UUA Bookstore.