In this powerful collection, editor Kate R. Walker and contributors look back over more than two hundred years of Berry Street essays and offer analysis and historical context.

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Product Code: 6685
ISBN: 9781558968707
Format: Paperback / softback
Publisher: Skinner House Books
Published Date: 07/30/2021
Pages: 512
Size: 10 x 7
Availability: Not currently available.
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Price: $26.00

For more than two hundred years, Unitarian and then Unitarian Universalist ministers have gathered to hear one of their own deliver an essay of reflection and critique on their profession. The Ministerial Conference at Berry Street, or as it’s more commonly known, the Berry Street lecture, was started in 1820 by famed Unitarian minister William Ellery Channing. It is believed this essay series is the longest running of its kind in the United States.

In this powerful collection, Berry Street scribe and editor Kate R. Walker and contributors look back over the essays on record and offer analysis on what was said and the historical context surrounding them; selected essays have also been included in this volume. The voices and ministry of thundering preachers, inspiring activists, and dedicated academics point toward a compelling future. When examined as a whole, their threads weave a rich and complex pattern.

And yet Walker and contributors also look at what was not said and who was not invited to speak. As Unitarian Universalism enters a new era of ministry in our congregations and outreach to the wider world, our commitment to being a radically inclusive faith demands these teachings. Our survival as a liberal religious faith depends on learning from our failures so we don’t repeat them.

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1820–1836: Creating a Community by Ourselves by Mark Harris
1840–1859: Where Do We Come From? Who Are We? Where Are We Going? by Amber Beland and Manish Mishra-Marzetti
1860–1869: Calls for Unity and Continuity by Barbara Coeyman
1870–1889: Unitarians Fight for Relevance by María Uitti McCabe
1890–1908: More to Do Than Displace Falsehood by Nicole C. Kirk
1911–1937: Complications of the Spirit by Rebecca Parker
1941–1959: The Quest for Unity by Dan McKanan
1960–1969: Insular Perspectives by Rosemary Bray McNatt
1970–1979: The Decade After Empowerment by Ian W. Riddell
1980–1989: Higher Truth from Saint and Seer by Meg Richardson
1990–1990: At the Cusp of the Millennium by Lindasusan V. Ulrich
2000–2009: Light, Strength, Animation, and Zeal by Marco Belletini
2010–2019: Boom! by Kate R. Walker

Perspective Matters
Selected Essays

“What the contributors to this volume have found is something worth celebrating. The voices and the acts of ministry of thundering preachers, inspiring activists, and dedicated academics, revealed and preserved in two centuries of essays, point toward a compelling future even as they do not have a clear view of that future. Their threads weave a complex, rich, and fluctuating pattern of curious and stubborn visionaries who believed in our saving message of universal love in the embrace of the holy. They did not falter in their determination. Supported by both reason and passion, they called for the liberal religious voice to be carried into the forefront of our country. They gave us, the inheritors of their ministry and vision, the capacity and wisdom to respond to contemporary issues with a humble understanding of what it takes to combat oppression. And that gift is worth celebrating.”

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