What UUs Believe

Unitarian Universalist (UU) Principles and Sources

What do UUs believe?  UUs do not share one set of beliefs or teachings. Unitarian Universalism is a non-creedal faith built upon common core values. We are spiritually diverse with many different beliefs. Here you are invited to explore your spirituality in community.

Do UUs believe in God? Many Unitarian Universalists believe in God. Many do not believe in God (atheists), and many are unsure that they can know whether there is a God (agnostics).

Can UUs believe whatever they want? Unitarian Universalists may choose their own spiritual practices and beliefs. It is important that personal beliefs be consistent with the Principles of Unitarian Universalism. (See below.)

How can UUs Worship if there is no deity? We come together with a vision to be a loving, religious community where we can grow spiritually and build a more just and joyful world. We pay attention to that which is worthy, and promise each other mutual trust and support. 

If there is no set of beliefs, can Unitarian Universalism be a religion? The UU faith tradition has long provided a framework for spiritual leadership, individual beliefs, social action, religious education for youth, and moral, ethical living, which are the hallmarks of religion.

Is Hell a thing? Because UUs draw on the teachings of major religions, Hell is a concept of interest and debate. Hell as a potential afterlife is not taught.

Do Unitarians believe in Heaven? UUs strive toward heaven on earth as an ideal. There is commitment to making our worlds better for all.

We affirm and promote 8 Principles:

1. The inherent worth and dignity of every person

2. Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations;

3. Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;

4. A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;

5. The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;

6. The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;

7. Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

8. Journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions. 

These principles lead us to draw from a wellspring of religious traditions. These are the six sources that we hold dear:

  • Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life;
  • Words and deeds of those who challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love;
  • Wisdom from the world’s religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life;
  • Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God’s love by loving our neighbors as ourselves;
  • Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit.
  • Spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.

Grateful for the religious pluralism which enriches and enables our faith, we are inspired to deepen our understanding and expand our vision. As members of religious community, we promise one another our mutual trust and support. This is called covenant.

 

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