Chutney gives me my first chance to test out the TrackBack, which itself was activated at Chutney’s general request to godbloggers.
I guess the appeal to a Unitarian Universalist lectionary jerks my chain in three distinct ways.
1. To quote a zillion TV law dramas, “it assumes facts not in evidence,” namely, a theological core. The Principles and Purposes have moved from being a census of competing factions within Unitarian Universalism to canonizing a self-selecting, materialistic atheist or wide theist, world religion-ism as Unitarian Universalism. No, you can guess, I don’t like that.
Why? Because this canonization puts an onus on those who have a particular theology, as if one is supposed to have a “theology in general.”
So I have a hard time with anything that gives that interpretation of Unitarian Universalism any more institutional heft.
2. The Revised Common Lectionary and its kin are attempts to unify Christians through a common approach to the word. Intended for a U.S. constituency, it has been wildly and widely adopted world wide. (It should be noted that two Unitarian Universalist ministers sit on the committee, the Consulation on Common Texts that devised the RCL.)
Anything particular and sectarian — the Scylla and Charybdis of Unitarian Universalism, but we’re not alone in its trap — just shows how out of the loop we are.
Why draw together a resource to prove it?
3. Of course, alternate lectionaries, liturgies, anything are marketed as sexy, hot, innovative.
Like parachute pants.
I’ll stick to the Revised Common Lectionary, and the Oremus lectionary off-Sundays.
But, even if such a UU lectionary was to come into being, I don’t think I would write off “Direct experiences of mystery and wonder” or conflate it with world religions.
Mystical experience is often at conflict with the same institutional manifestations of religion that produces the scriptures that those world religions would use. But mystics — I suppose out of compassion, or a need to reflect on the experience — do sometimes reduce their experiences to writing.
And then there’s the nature writing, which often points a sub-mystical experience of God, but is as direct as any experience. Many would be tempted to attribute this to “Spiritual teachings of earth-centered religions” but what if the writer is theologically elsewhere.
Indeed, the works of George deBenneville, who would have turned 300 last July 26, fits nicely here.