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Growing Up Absorbed

Growing Up Absorbed

Religious Education among the Unitarian Universalists

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How long does it take to grow a soul, to love and to be loved, and to help repair the world? One lifetime, so it is best to be totally engaged in the process. Growing Up Absorbed follows the journey from cradle to grave through an education focus. There are no shortcuts in this spiritual pilgrimage. It can be hard, but we are companioned along the way. What happens is what Gilbert calls "spiritual osmosis" absorbing what the world has to teach us and passing on what we have learned: an absorbing business.

Within these covers lies a history of religious education in the Unitarian Universalist tradition, with reflections on faith development in the 21st century. Beginning with Walt Whitman's poem "A Child Went Forth" as a metaphor, the author concludes with life questions that "empty the room" He finds the journey has its valleys, plateaus and mountain peaks, and is no casual matter. Gilbert shares his excitement on making the journey.

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Foreword: Peter Morales 15

Preface: Growing Up Absorbed-a Personal Reflection 17

Introduction 23

Part 1: History
Chapter 1 Unitarian History 49
Chapter 2 The Sophia Lyon Fahs Era 69
Chapter 3 Universalist History 83
Chapter 4 The Galloping Gospel of Angus H. Maclean 95
Chapter 5 Into the 21st Century: Toward Life-Span Faith Development 106

Part 2: Growing a Soul
Chapter 6 The Theology of Child Growing 138
Chapter 7 The Fantastiks: Coming of Age in America 155
Chapter 8 Middlescence and the Wisdom of Immunity 171
Chapter 9 Elderhood: "Age-ing and Sage-ing" 184
Chapter 10 Religion, Death, and the Life Process 196

Part 3: Religious Education: The Big Questions
Chapter 11 Why? What Are Our Goals? 210
Chapter 12 Who? We Are All Gardens of the Spirit 221
Chapter 13 What? Curriculum as Experience 230
Chapter 14 Where? The Church without Walls 245
Chapter 15 How? The Nature of Spiritual Osmosis 256
Chapter 16 When? Toward Life Span Faith Development 267

Part 4: Useable Truth: To Repair Broken Worlds Chapter 17 Except the Spark: Religious Education for Social Change 283
Chapter 18 What Is "Useable Truth" Repairing Broken Worlds 294
Chapter 19 Growing People of Prophetic Fire 303
Chapter 20 The Questions that Empty the Room 318

Afterword 327

Annotated Bibliography 329

Index 343

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