A Brief Introduction to Unitarianism
Since the 1500s, the Unitarian community has encouraged the individual search for truth and meaning. Unitarianism is a liberal religion that promotes freedom and respect for all people regardless of their religious beliefs, sexual orientation, race, age or gender. While we trace our roots to the Protestant Reformation, our faith has continued to evolve over the centuries, influenced by great thinkers responding to their times.
Many people are familiar with the wisdom of well-known figures who were Unitarians – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller and Lotta Hitschmanova, to name just a few.
Unitarians believe that no one person, faith or religion has a lock on the truth. We honour all faiths and all great teachers and prophets for the wisdom and insight they offer to humanity. We believe each individual has the right to search for truth and meaning and that, by coming together in our common search, we give and receive insight and support to and from each other.
Unitarians do not require allegiance to a specific book or adherence to a set of practices. We draw from many religious, philosophical, and ethical sources, but the covenant that binds us together is the affirmation of our Seven Principles, which are based on the shared values of radical inclusion, compassion, and social action:
- The inherent worth and dignity of every person
- Justice, equity and compassion in human relations
- Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations
- A free and responsible search for truth and meaning
- The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large
- The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all
- Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part