My Theology

ExPluribusUnum, or "one from many", is the Shortest Way to Describe My Theology.

I believe that we are all mere human beings trying to make sense of our existence; so we should keep that in mind when we interact with one another. We are one people, composed of many persons. "God" is found in the love we share. The only way to get to that holy place is to practice more love!

Monday, August 23, 2010

The role of religion in my life

Years ago, I was a very active member of a community of Unitarian Universalists on the popular website Participating there actually helped me on my journey into Unitarian Universalism, and provided a virtual community that I sorely needed at that time. In the decade or so since I first joined, Beliefnet has gone through many changes...many of which I did not appreciate, and therefore my participation in whatever community may remain there has become nonexistent.

However, the memory of what once was occasionally draws me back to the site, and I sometimes find little gems of conversation that spark more thoughts in me about my spiritual journey.

Today I happened to catch a tweet (@beliefnet) that led me to the site, where a user posed the question "What role does religion play in your life?", followed by a series of illustrative questions to elicit responses. Most folks answered the questions individually, and so that's what I did. Here is my response, with questions included:

What role does religion play in your life?

Religion is pretty central to my life, and everything I am and do is an expression of that.

Do you believe in the absolute historical accuracy and authority of your religious text(s)?
I believe that all religious texts are representations of a people’s attempt to understand themselves and the universe they inhabit. They are true inasmuch as any story illustrates its truth, and need not be literal in order to have meaning. In this sense, the text has only as much authority as is given it by the reader, who must find some resonance with it. The question of “absolute historical accuracy” is therefore moot.
Is it just a cultural thing for you, something you were raised with and identify yourself as, but otherwise don't care much about?
No. I actually “converted” in my late teens/early twenties, and my religious identity is very important to me.
Do you participate in your religion because it gives you comfort and strength? Or maybe a sense of community and belonging?
Both. It also provides me with opportunities to fulfill my own human potential, a challenge to help others fulfill their potential, and a safe framework within which to struggle with “the big questions”.
Do you feel like you're fulfilling a destiny of some kind by carrying out the teachings of your religion?
I feel like am doing the best I can to comprehend existence and to improve our experience of it. If that moving toward wholeness and holiness is “destiny”, then I must answer yes. If by destiny you mean something like “the inevitability of fate”, then I would say no.
I welcome you to state your religion when answering, if you feel comfortable doing so.
I am a Unitarian Universalist.

More questions? Feel free to ask me anything cultural - especially about language, music, sexuality, religion and faith - by clicking here. Account not required; anonymous questions allowed.


kimc said...

Hi Adrian. I sometimes kinda miss the old Beliefnet. The new version isn't user-friendly so it doesn't get used much. Plus, the big personalities have mostly gone away, so discussions aren't so lively. I'm really glad to have retained my friendship with you from then. Though I wish we could see each other more often....
As for the questions, as you might have guessed, my answers are pretty similar to yours.

UUXMNR said...

Hi Kim!

I really really really miss it, and I'm trying to piece together what we had then with a little bit of this here and a little bit of that there...but it's just not the same anymore. Alas, everything has its time and place I guess. I'm so glad that you and I are still in touch!


"EPU" hehe

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