The classes are based on a perennial classic, The World’s Religions, by well-known religious scholar Huston Smith. The Rev. Gary Kowalksi (1997), author of a study guide provided by the Unitarian Universalist Association, suggests that one of Smith’s strengths is that he has “made complex and arcane issues accessible to the layperson” (p. 3). To be best prepared for the classes we suggest that you purchase a copy in advance. The book is widely available and may be purchased for $3.99 from AbeBooks.com, Barnes & Noble, or Amazon.com. Feel free to use an older or used edition.

Our expected outcome of this series is that irrespective of which session or sessions you are able to attend, we will as a diverse and welcoming spiritual community:

• Develop the opportunity to listen to the overall concepts of each religion to understand but not to judge;
• Recognize the similarities that we as Unitarians share with other faith traditions;
• Discuss the relevance of many ancient traditions in our own lives in the 21st century, and
• Recognize that the text we use and the discussions that follow are a “snap shot” of the concepts of each faith being studied.

Each session will be guided by a member of the Starr King Community who will have attended a session to review their role as facilitator or discussion guide, the outcomes of the series, and how to create an environment of openness, trust and respect. We look forward to sharing these opportunities to learn, reflect and grow together as a community.

We ask that you sign up for the session/s you wish to attend at the Large Sign-In Poster in the Fellowship Hall. To enable us to arrange child-care, kindly notify Mileva Saulo Lewis (milevas@aol.com) at least two weeks prior to the session(s) you will be attending.

Session Dates and Topic of Discussion

18 September Overview and Hinduism
25 September Buddhism
2 October Confucianism
9 October Taoism
23 October Islam
30 October Judaism
6 November Christianity
20 November Earth Centered Traditions
4 December Final Session

We look forward to sharing these opportunities to learn, reflect and grow together as a community. Please feel free to talk to any member of the Adult Religious Education Committee about the Program.

Kathryn Lamar, Diane Meyersen, Ethel-May Shaw, Shelia McClellan, and Mileva Saulo Lewis

References:

Smith, H. The World’s Religions: 50th anniversary edition. New York: Harper Collins, ISBN: 978- 0-06-166018-4.

Kowalski, G. (1997). Understanding the World’s Religions. Unitarian Universalist Association. This guide is part of The Lifespan Series developed by the Department of Religious Education of the UUA.

Link for study guide