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Looking for UU history...

Discussion in 'Unitarian Universalism DIR' started by wintersolstice, Mar 1, 2015.

  1. wintersolstice

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    Does anyone have any sources regarding the period around 1800-1840 when the Unitarians and Congregationalists split? I am interested in local events in the Massachusetts/NH area.

    From what I've read, the Andover Seminary (now Andover Newton Theological Seminary) was established as an alternative to Harvard which was more inclined to Unitarianism.

    Yesterday, in Northfield, MA, I noticed that the UCC church is the Trinitarian Congregational Church and the UU's are the First Parish. There must be an interesting story behind the split.

    I've also read that nearby Winchester, NH was the site of an important early Unitarian meeting, but don't know anything more about it.
    Any information you can share or sources you can recommend would be appreciated.
     
  2. applewuud

    applewuud Active Member

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    The best source I'm aware of is the "The Unitarians and the Universalists" by John Robinson.

    Unfortunately, from what I've seen, there is very little history of individual church breakups. The controversies are handled with only a few sentences in local newspapers or records; since dissension was seen as un-Christian, they were embarrassed about it and didn't document the partings very well. In some towns it was the minister who was "too Unitarian" and was kicked out and started a new church, in other towns the congregation supported the minister and the Trinitarians left and had to build their new church.

    When the congregations split, there were questions about who would hold on to the church records, adding to the confusion. In individual cases, it would be very interesting if one could get contemporary accounts from annual meeting minutes, etc.

    The "Winchester Profession" was made at a Universalist convention in 1803, 160 years before they joined the Unitarians. An interesting link is Universalist Heritage Foundation
     
  3. applewuud

    applewuud Active Member

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    Wow, I'm glad you asked about this...the first video on that site is well worth watching for anyone wondering about the differences between Universalism and Unitarianism, where they came from, what they believed, and their cultural settings. Also available on YouTube at .
     
  4. wintersolstice

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    Thanks so much for sharing this link. The video is very informative about the foundations of both U's. I never realized the geographic and cultural differences between them. I am embarrassed to say that I drive by the Universalist Resource Center in Winchester, NH every week and never realized the important role that it plays in the continuation of Universalist beliefs. It is wonderful to learn the role played in the development of Universalism by the Monadnock region, particularly Winchester and Richmond.
    Now that I think about it, there is a sign for a First Universalist Church over in West Chesterfield, NH. I'll have to check it out.
    Again, thanks!
     
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