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Sticky: Good UU Books
6 years ago  ::  Feb 18, 2008 - 2:56PM #11
DotNotInOz
Posts: 6,832
One more personal favorite of the introductions to UUism would be George Marshall's Challenge of a Liberal Faith. Even though it's a bit dated since I think the most recent edition is about twenty years old now, it's a really good brief explanation of historical UUism as well as pretty representative of the diversity of beliefs among UU's today.

As I've mentioned elsewhere, I think that 100 Questions That Non-Members Ask About Unitarian Universalism, the text most commonly recommended today, best represents the atheist-agnostic-humanist aspect of UUism. Nothing wrong with that, particularly if a newcomer is one of those; however, there are a number of statements that don't accurately represent the fact that probably around 25% or more of UU's are theists these days, especially with the influx of Pagans into the denomination in the last decade.

Challenge of a Liberal Faith is readily available through the UUA Bookstore online and is likely to be found in larger church libraries.
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6 years ago  ::  May 06, 2008 - 7:21AM #12
rbchaddy2000
Posts: 1,277
University libraries may have the Robinson book as well. UTC does. I highly recommend it. Richard
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 07, 2008 - 12:37PM #13
Brownowl33
Posts: 443
[QUOTE=lotusflower16;256831]Does anyone know some good books with good information about UU?[/QUOTE]

I have actually found an AMAZING book.  It's not specifically UU, but I think it's got a lot to offer UUs and many people from other traditions as well.

It's called "Discover Your Spiritual Life" by Elizabeth Owens. She's a Spiritualist minister, and has written several books on the subject.  She let's you decide how you will see the divine, and encourages you to use whatever concepts resonate most deeply with you.  Much of the book is about  finding out what is important to you, the need to let go of anger and to forgive, and on building a spiritual practice.  It's got all kinds of affirmations and meditations.

The book IS kind of New Age-y, and I can see how that might put off the devout atheists amongst us.  Other parts seem to be inspired by Buddhist thought, however, which would be non-theistic.  I think just about everything in it could be adapted to both theistic and non-theistic use.  Except for these minor issues, I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it.
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 07, 2008 - 10:02PM #14
Ursyl
Posts: 462
God's Dog and the other two books by the same UU minister are excellent, though not about UU-ism as such. Very thought provoking.

Interlibrary loan is your friend. Truly.
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 08, 2008 - 2:36PM #15
DotNotInOz
Posts: 6,832

Ursyl wrote:

God's Dog and the other two books by the same UU minister are excellent, though not about UU-ism as such. Very thought provoking.



Well, portions of them are. Can't remember which book it's in, but there's a very nice summation of the UU Principles in one. The titles are God's Dog, Coyote Says... and Get a God!

The author is Webster Kitchell, for reference, who is the Minister Emeritus of the Santa Fe, NM UU Church. He was the minister when I was a member there about 20 years ago. Terrific guy, just as warm, human and funny as these sermons read. I heard him deliver one of the first few Coyote sermons.

I do agree, however, that on the whole, the Coyote sermons attempt to enlarge upon various issues and concerns from a UU perspective rather than to educate about what UUism is.

Probably would be most appreciated once a person has read one of the introductory books, I'd say.

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6 years ago  ::  Oct 09, 2008 - 2:37AM #16
thelovesower
Posts: 97
Have you guys known William Bennett's The Book of Virtues?
I really like this book. It's full of moral stories. When I say stories, I really mean stories: simple, heart-felt, non-moralizing.

Another book I also like is Elisa Davy Pearmain's Doorways To The Soul. Like The Book of Virtues, this book is all filled with stories and parables.

Unfortunately, Beliefnet doesn't seem to have this type of stories or parables. I mean the stories are under Inspiration category, and they are good, but they are not very spiritually deep, and the authors seem to try to moralize them.

I believe that stories and parables themselves have the magic to teach us spiritual lessions without the need of discussing its morals.

I really like Jesus' stories. Well, he did moralize his stories, but they could stand by themselves. They all teach us truth.

Last year, in UUA bookstore, I saw 100 Wisdom Stories From Around The World. This book is also amazing, just like the other two.

Having said that, I don't mean preaching or sermons are bad. I do enjoy them in my church, but that's it. Out of the church, I only want stories.

Can anyone here recommend me books that contains spiritual or religious stories please? If you can give me the title of the book with the ISBN number, so I can search on Amazon or somewhere else, that would be great. Thank you, all!
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 09, 2008 - 11:45AM #17
DotNotInOz
Posts: 6,832
The Cup of Comfort series are excellent, I think. The original compiler was Colleen Sell, I believe, but later collections have featured other compilers as well as she.

Just search for that series title, and you'll pull them right up on Amazon. Short little pieces, too, most not as long as the Chicken Soup series ones tend to be.

Although, of course, they're heavily Christian, there are some good stories in Guidepost magazine's annual daily readings book. They do, however, tend to be somewhat preachy with frequent biblical references but may have some you'd enjoy. Guidepost also puts out story collections now and again. These are readily available in any good-sized commercial bookstore or Christian one.

What about the UUA's meditation manuals? These are annual publications and can be ordered online via UUA Bookstore. They are a bit more thoughtful and serious rather than inspirational or uplifting in a lighter sense in case you weren't wanting anything very heavy. Content does vary nicely, so perhaps you'd find some pieces enjoyable even though others were too weighty.

i used to work at a Borders store, so I could keep going, but there're a few ideas for you to look into. Hope you find something enjoyable.
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 09, 2008 - 12:34PM #18
thelovesower
Posts: 97
THank you very much!
I'll take a look at those books.
I know Chicken Soup series. They are great actually. However, the stories are quite shallow, unlike THE PARABLE OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN, THE HONEST DISCIPLE (Jewish folktale), SAND OR STONE (parable about forgiveness), A MAYONNAISE JAR (Laura Baker's story about life), TWO BROTHERS (story in Talmud about brother's love), THE MUSTARD SEED (story about grief), etc.

You get the idea, don't you? I hope I express well enough. I guess I'm into religious stories, which are religious but not religious. Anyone, religious or secular, can learn from them. Unfortunately, chicken soup stories don't really give me what I need. I think the authors published them for money, so they are not very spiritually deep.
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 09, 2008 - 5:40PM #19
DotNotInOz
Posts: 6,832
Ahhh, well, in that case, you probably won't think the Cup of Comfort series does what you're wanting. It's more along the Chicken Soup lines than a thoughtful parable-like story such as an Aesop's fable. You're obviously wanting more substance than I discerned initially.

Hmmmm...looking in the sections for major religions in a bookstore will likely work better for you as it would be difficult to order from Amazon without being able to browse the book in order to be sure it's not too shallow.

Caroline Kennedy's Family series collections may offer some possibilities, but these tend to be more timetold favorites of good literature rather than presenting a moral. Just good classical stories and poems, though.

I do think that you may find some suitable pieces in the UUA's meditation manuals. Check the UUA Bookstore online under the section on meditation as it's not how to meditate but rather books of meditative pieces, the majority of which are deeper than anything Chicken Soup (the National Enquirer of inspirational short pieces, IMO...just icky) offers.
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 09, 2008 - 9:21PM #20
thelovesower
Posts: 97
[QUOTE=DotNotInOz;814812]Ahhh, well, in that case, you probably won't think the Cup of Comfort series does what you're wanting. It's more along the Chicken Soup lines than a thoughtful parable-like story such as an Aesop's fable. You're obviously wanting more substance than I discerned initially.

Hmmmm...looking in the sections for major religions in a bookstore will likely work better for you as it would be difficult to order from Amazon without being able to browse the book in order to be sure it's not too shallow.

Caroline Kennedy's Family series collections may offer some possibilities, but these tend to be more timetold favorites of good literature rather than presenting a moral. Just good classical stories and poems, though.

I do think that you may find some suitable pieces in the UUA's meditation manuals. Check the UUA Bookstore online under the section on meditation as it's not how to meditate but rather books of meditative pieces, the majority of which are deeper than anything Chicken Soup (the National Enquirer of inspirational short pieces, IMO...just icky) offers.[/QUOTE]

Thank you for your advice!
I checked UUA bookstore and Amazon. Amazon does have the UUA's meditation manuals. Well, they are actually cheaper, and I can take advantage of Free Shipping. I ordered them

About real-life Chicken Soup style stories, I forgot mentioning that there is a story in 2nd volume of Chicken Soup about geese.

I really like this story although it is moralized thoroughly. It's an observation about geese. In case someone doesn't know, here's the observation:

[QUOTE]
Next fall, when you see geese heading south for the winter, flying along in 'V' formation, you might consider what science has discovered as to why they fly that way. As each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in 'V' formation, the whole flock adds at least 71 percent greater flight range than if each bird flew alone.

People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going with greater ease and speed, because they are traveling on the thrust of those next to -- and before us.

When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of solo flight -- and quickly returns to the formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the birds in front.

If we have as much sense as a goose, we'll chose to stay in formation with those headed the same direction we are.

When the head goose gets tired, it rotates back in the wing and another flies point.

It is sensible to take turns doing demanding jobs.

Geese honk from behind to encourage those in front to keep up their speed.

What messages do we give when we honk from behind?

Finally, and most importantly, when a goose gets sick or is wounded by gunshot and falls out of formation, two other geese fall out with the injured, following it down to lend help and protection. They stay with the fallen goose until it is able to fly or until it dies; and only then do they launch out on their own or with another fomation to catch up with their group.

If we have the sense of a goose, we'd stand by each other like this.[/QUOTE]

Reading this story again helps me tolerate earth-based worship pagans more. I watch some inspirational clips from the Earth-Based priestess in beliefnet. Although she looks quite weird to me, her insights are good.

I think it's time for me to practice spirituality in the real world besides parables from the ancient world. Learning from animals will be ideal because they are more connected to Nature than we are.

I watch White Fang, Lassie Come Home, Air Bud, etc. They are really inspirational about animal love. However, they are fictional. I hope I can find something real.

Two months ago, I searched on the Internet and found the article about dolphins rescued surfer Todd Endris from sharks. Although this is just news and doesn't teach spirituality like A SENSE OF A GOOSE, I personally find a lession of altruism and cooperation in it.

I just attended the animal blessing in my church last Sunday. IT was very wonderful. I have realized that I should pay more attention to our beloved creatures since then.

Can you give me some suggestions how to learn more about animal behavior, how they save people, how they treat each other, heroic deeds they do, etc. Any book, web site? I read Chicken Soup For Pet Lover's Soul and Cat and Dog lover's soul. Stories were great. I guess these are Chicken Soup books that are less shallow than others. It seems like people have more real emotion when they talk about pets.
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