Universalist History

-230 CE Origen argues: Our all-good souls were created before our bodies and minds by an all- good God: sin is a product of free will and not our inherent nature; in the end, all souls are reconciled with god

-405 CE Pelagius argues: There is no original sin; human beings are born with a propensity toward good; debates Augustine extensively…loses

-1637 Samuel Gorton driven out of Plymouth Colony for teaching universal salvation

-1759 James Reilly publishes Union in which he argues: if all sinned in Adam, all were saved in Christ

-1770 John Murray ship wrecks off the coast of New Jersey, comes to preach universal salvation

-1779 First Universalist congregation in the Americas, Gloucester, Massachusetts

-1787 Elhanan Winchester, The Universal Restoration

-1790 Judith Sargent Murray publishes On the Equality of the Sexes

-1793 Universalist Church of America established, making Universalism a denomination

-1805 Hosea Ballou publishes, Treatise on Atonement arguing: human sin is finite not infinite; sin is action that separates us from a loving God; Jesus was not sacrificed by an angry God who needed appeasing, rather Jesus helped people learn how to be closer to a moral, loving God

-1819 Universalist Magazine weekly paper established

-1825 Thirty-seven men and five women organize the First Universalist Society of Utica

-1833 General Convention of Universalists in U.S. founded

-1856 St. Lawrence University and Theological School established in Canton, NY as a Universalist school

-1863 Olympia Brown becomes the first woman ordained to any denomination

-1899, 1925, 1937 Universalists consider merger

-1917 Universalist Declaration of Social Principles drafted by Clarence Skinner



-220 CE Sabellius excommunicated for his argument that God is single and indivisible

-325 CE Council of Nicea Arius argues that Jesus was less divine than God; others later took this to further argue Jesus was human and God was one (thus Uni-tarian instead of Trini-tarian)

-1527 Martin Cellarius publishes On the Errors of the Trinity

-1553 After decades of debate between John Calvin and Servetus, Calvin has Servetus burned at the stake in Geneva for Heresy

-1556 Frances David preaches against the trinity in Transylvania; later states “We need not think alike to love alike.”

-1568 Unitarian King, John Sigismund, publishes the Edict of Torda which declares that the differences in religious belief must not be punished; faith is a gift from God, no human authority can judge heresy

-1805 Henry Ware Sr. appointed as Hollis Professor Divinity at Harvard, grew the divinity school.

Unitarian Universalist History

-1961 Unitarians and Universalists merge to create the Unitarian Universalist Association

-1965 Rev. James Reeb and Viola Liuzzo murdered by white supremacists while answering Dr. King’s call to Selma

-1967 Black Unitarian Universalist Caucus organized

-1971 UUA curriculum About Your Sexuality begins teaching youth a positive message about same-sex sexuality

-1971 UUA’s publishing house, Beacon Press publishes The Pentagon Papers

-1977 Women and Religion resolution passed at General Assembly

-1979 First openly gay ministers begin

-1988 First openly transgender person ordained

-1989 General Assembly in New Haven, Connecticut introduces Unitarian Universalists to themes like “ecology theology” and “environmental justice”

-1984, 1996 UUA affirms same-sex unions and same-sex marriages, respectively

-1985 Principles and Purposes adopted

-1999 Study Action Issue on Responsible Consumption as a Moral Responsibility passed at General Assembly to energize a new audience of UUs with the idea of a national environmental program