Sacred Text Reading Group
Date/Time
Date(s) - 04/03/2021
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

A weekly online sacred text reading group with Amy

Using a spiritual-practice approach, in each session we will explore a different brief scriptural text in depth. The aims of the sessions are educational (learning something about the texts and traditions), spiritual/moral (discovering what the texts ask of us), and community-building (getting to know each other better). Amy will have a version of the text available to share; “bring” your own if you like. All are welcome, as are your suggestions of future texts. About half our readings so far have been those suggested by group members.

Our text for Saturday, April 3 continues the previous week’s theme but, appropriate to April Fool’s Day, pokes Unitarians in particular in the ribs. It is from The Varieties of Religious Experience, William James:

Not only the cruelty, but the paltriness of character of the gods believed in by earlier centuries also strikes later centuries with surprise. … Ritual worship in general appears to the modern transcendentalist, as well as to the ultra-puritanic type of mind, as if addressed to a deity of an almost absurdly childish character, taking delight in toy-shop furniture, tapers and tinsel, costume and mumbling and mummery, and finding his ‘glory’ incomprehensibly enhanced thereby; — just as on the other hand the formless spaciousness of pantheism appears quite empty to ritualistic natures, and the gaunt theism of evangelical sects seems intolerably bald and chalky and bleak. Luther, says Emerson, would have cut off his right hand rather than nail his theses to the door at Wittenberg, if he had supposed that they were destined to lead to the pale negations of Boston Unitarianism.

How to join:

  • Join this class from your Web browser: https://zoom.us/j/578882781
  • Join this class using the Zoom app: Meeting ID: 578 882 781
  • Join this class by phone: 669 900 9128 US (San Jose), Meeting ID: 578 882 781
  • Join this class by on-tap on mobile phones: +16699009128,,578882781# US (San Jose)
  • Phoning in, but not in the bay area?  Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/abL8clvIYT
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