Talk:Unitarianism

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We need to clean up this article re. universalism[edit]

While some denominations such as the Unitarian Universalist Association adhere to both Unitarianism and Universalism, many denominations hold only to one or the other. This article is about the theology of unitarianism, and conflating it with universalism is incorrect. TechBear | Talk | Contributions 08:14, 4 January 2015 (UTC)

It is clear that Unitarians do not believe that Jesus is God incarnated, but in order to have a clearer picture of Unitarianism, I think that there's something more that must mentioned in the lede of this article: First, What do Unitarians believe about salvation? Second, What do they therefore think about condemnation/ punishment/ hell? and third, what do they believe about the ministry, teachings and the death of Jesus Christ on the cross? In short, if they say that Jesus was the Son, or a son, what relevance his figure has for them? How do Unitarians perceive Jesus and what does His ministry and death means for them?
Inquire upon these questions in the light of history and you'll have to understand that Unitarianism is sometimes a very broad category. You'll see that thought Unitarianism began as a schism in Christianity, not all Unitarians have considered themselves Christians on their own account. You'll find many that there are Christian Unitarians, who believe that Jesus' death on the cross was a Sacrifice for the salvation of those who believe. But you'll also find many Universalist Unitarians, who believe that Jesus' death on the cross was a Sacrifice for all mankind, including those who do not believe. Yes, a considerable amount of Unitarians adhere to Universalism, so, is it relevant to mention it in a neutral article, or not? And Furthermore, you'll find non-Christian unitarians who believe that Jesus' death was not a sacrifice. These can't be called Christians in the definition of the word, so they overlap with deism and may be refered to as Deistic Unitarians.
What kind of "Unitarian" are we referring to? Who is Jesus for this Unitarian? How does this Unitarian perceive the topic of condemnation/hell? Is it merely a Christian unitarian? Is it a [Christian] Universalist Unitarian, or is it a non-Christian/Deistic Unitarian? These three exist, don't they? If so, let them be mentioned.--[User:Goose friend|Goose friend] 22:46, 4 January 2015 (UTC)

Need for the lead to somehow honestly inform and contrast the new UU theology[edit]

This article should either be moved to "Historical Unitarianism" or else somewhere reflect current Unitarianism, which it no longer does.[User:Scottperry|Scott P.] 07:28, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

After studying the apparent confusion about "true Unitarianism" that I initially found in this article, I now think I understand it a bit better. I believe that this confusion needs to be spoken of "straightly" in the beginning of this article, to spare readers unneccessary confusions of their own. In my humble opinion, the fact that before my most recent edits, the lead of this article did not clearly somehow address the fact that the largest group of people who call themselves Unitarians have nothing in common with the theology described in this article was not helpful and was quite confusing. Back in the 80's, I spent approx. 4 years going to a UU church before I realized that they were primarily atheists, and left. If Wikipedia had been around back then, it would have saved me 4 years!
I have no problem that the Wikipedia article on Unitarianism is reserved for the Christian branch of Unitarianism, which seems right to me, as traditional Unitarianism was always Christian, and the very name itself, "Unitarian", would seem to imply that the theology would indeed revolve around a belief in the "Unity" of God. Still, I feel that the apparently intentional confusion that is seemingly espoused by both UU's and traditional Unitarians, both camp's barely even acknowledging the existence of the other camp, should not be carried over into Wikipedia. After carefully reading through the dialogue above, it becomes clear to me that by far, I was not the only one feeling a need for greater clarity in the article's lead. Before deleting the "clarifications" that I made in my last edit, please explain to me how a "newbie" is supposed to understand from the lead of this article, that this article is actually not about the theology of the largest group of self proclaimed Unitarians, which happen to no longer hold the Unity of God as a key tenet? Please help enable this article to put an end to such confusions, and not to perpetuate them. Thanks, Scott P. (talk) 21:49, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
Unitarianism is a christology. There is no "Christian branch" any more than there is a "Christian branch" of trinitarianism. It has been established through consensus that this article is about the christology, and not about the Unitarian Universalist Association, the Unitarian-Universalist religion, or other such topics. That is why the article hat note is there: to help people looking for something not this article find what they want. If you think this needs to be clarified, let's discuss how it can be clarified. But keep in mind that this article is not about UU and never has been. TechBear | Talk | Contributions 01:26, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
I considered myself to be a Unitarian for 4 years, was a member of the largest self-proclaimed Unitarian organization in the country, and during those 4 years believed that I was a follower of "Unitarianism". Later I found out that their "Christology" was non-existent, and left. I feel that you are attempting to claim that the largest group of self proclaimed Unitarians simply does not exist here. This is quite confusing to anyone who first comes to this article, as it was to me when I first came, and as many other editors have noted above.
It is a fact that the theology of the largest group of self proclaimed Unitarians is not at all represented by this article which you want to be titled "Unitarianism". I think we agree on this point. I think it would also be safe to say that this largest group of self proclaimed Unitarians does believe that they have their own "theology", and that they would probably also want to believe that their theology should also be called a "Unitarian" theology. I think we probably agree on this too.
Whether you call UU's a "branch", or an "abortion", they do exist, they do have a theology of their own (which admittedly some might call a theology of atheism), and they consider themselves to be Unitarians too. So then, why not make every effort to steer readers to the article that they wish to read when they first start reading here? Why write this article in such a way as to imply that UU's are an "abortion"? You seem to believe that UU's are a people who call themselves Unitarians, but who have no right to call themselves Unitarians, as you obviously believe that their theology is all screwed up.
Yes, this does pose a difficult question. How can a group which is primarily humanistic/ atheistic, call itself "Unitarian", when the name Unitarian itself would seem to imply a belief in the unity of God? I agree that this article should in some way address that very difficult question, but not by what it does not say, rather I believe it should address that difficult question by what it does say. I have again rewritten the disclaimers in the lead, trying to succinctly acheive that effect. Thanks, Scott P. (talk) 09:06, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
Again, you are conflating unitarianism, the christology, with Unitarian-Universalism. They are not the same thing. This article is about unitarianism, the christology, and not Unitarian-Universalism. There is a separate article for Unitarian-Universalism and that is not this article. What part of this am I not communicating clearly? TechBear | Talk | Contributions 15:17, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

Disambiguating UU Unitarian theology from traditional Christian Unitarian theology[edit]

This was posted to my personal talk page as a continuation of the above discussion; I have copied it exactly. Since this is a discussion for editing this article, I would rather it remain part of this article's talk history. TechBear | Talk | Contributions 15:42, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

TechBear,

Unless you can explain to me how the disambiguation I placed in the lead of Unitarianism was "confusing" Christian Unitarian theology with UU Unitarian theology, I will be wanting to place an Rfc on this question. To me your logic still seems confusing. Granted, UU Unitarian theology is different from Christian Unitarian theology, but I cannot understand why you do not want to describe the stark differences in the article's lead, in order to assist those who read the article for the first time, to let them know what they are truly reading about. Merely essentially stating in the lead your obvious personal opinion that Unitarianism = Christian Unitarian Theology, and then implying (but not stating) that UU Unitarians have no theology, seems to me to be quite confusing. I apologize, but unless you could somehow "unconfuse me" about this within the next two days (by Thursday morning), I feel I will have no choice but to call an Rfc to the question. In such an Rfc, I would be additionally be advocating for two more things:

  1. Moving the Unitarianism article to "Unitarianism (Traditional Christian)", and
  2. Creating another article to be titled "Unitarianism (UU)", which would somehow minimally disambiguate for readers of that page that Humanism/ Atheism is the dominant theology of UU Unitarians.

I would also be placing a notice regarding this discussion at the UU article page, as any decisions about the Unitarianism article itself would obviously have a major impact the page about the largest self proclaimed Unitarian organization, the UU Church. If we could somehow settle this before the RFC, I would "leave good enough alone" regarding the name of that article, and will not advocate for a move . Thanks, Scott P. (talk) 13:08, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

Unitarianism has a clearly documented history from the 16th century, and there is evidence that the christology goes back much farther than that. Unitarian Universalism, however, was created in 1961 out of two organizations formed in 1825 and 1866. That is to say, unitarianism is centuries, perhaps millennia, older than Unitarian Universalism. This article is about unitarianism, not about a specific, very new organization that has adopted some elements of unitarianism.
I am not the one confusing unitarianism with UU: I am trying very hard to keep the distinction between them sharp. For starters, there is no such thing as "Christian Unitarian" theology, as that implies there is a non-Christian unitarian theology. By definition, unitarianism is a statement about Jesus' nature and his relationship with God. That a basically non-Christian faith such as UU uses the same word to describe itself is irrelevant, and I believe it to be adequately handled in this article's current hat note: This article is about Unitarianism as a Christian theology. For the liberal religious movement, see Unitarian Universalism. For other uses, see Unitarianism (disambiguation). If this is confusing to you, please explain why and we can work out a compromise.
If you wish to make a Request for Discussion, I would welcome it. It would not be the first time we have had the discussion of painting a very old, well documented belief with the shellac of a young upstart, and I doubt it will be the last time, either. Until that discussion is concluded, I would ask that you respect the current consensus for this article and stop trying to make it all about Unitarian Universalism. TechBear | Talk Contributions 16:07, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
You wrote:
I am not the one confusing unitarianism with UU: I am trying very hard to keep the distinction between them sharp. For starters, there is no such thing as "Christian Unitarian" theology, as that implies there is a non-Christian unitarian theology.
The UU's would claim to have their own "theology of sorts", a non-Christian theology I suppose, please read: The Theology of Unitarian Universalists.
You wrote:
By definition, unitarianism is a statement about Jesus' nature and his relationship with God. That a basically non-Christian faith such as UU uses the same word to describe itself is irrelevant....
Regarding what UU Unitarianism is about, one of the holders of the "majority view amongst self professed Unitarians" would beg to differ, he wrote: "Unitarianism is about becoming fully awake to the realization that we all share in the unity of life and should be one in the unity of love." See: Unitarian versus Fundamentalist Approaches to Spirituality, Religion and Life.
You wrote:
...I believe it (the UU view) to be adequately handled in this article's current hat note: This article is about Unitarianism as a Christian theology. For the liberal religious movement, see Unitarian Universalism. For other uses, see Unitarianism (disambiguation). If this is confusing to you, please explain why and we can work out a compromise.
Why did I find this "disambiguation" within the article confusing? Because first, after reading the "hat note" or disambiguation note, I really had no idea what was liberal and what was Christian. I asked myself, "Aren't many Christians liberal?" I happen to be liberal and I also consider myself to be a Christian. I didn't have any idea what was trying to be said there, so I continued to read on down the article. Next, after reading the first paragraph of the article, knowing what I personally know about the "majority view" amongst "self proclaimed Unitarians", I knew that the first paragraph did not at all represent this majority view, and please forgive me, but at first it seemed to me that the first paragraph might have been written by someone with a personal agenda. I first came to the article to get an "overview" of Unitarianism, but all I found was a "micro-view" of what I initially believed was a completely dead and nearly forgotten view of it, without any contextualization. By analogy, it felt like getting off a plane in Rome Italy might feel, knowing how to speak Italian, but the customs officer there will only agree to speak in Latin to you, and then, by his rather cavalier attitude, he seems to be implying to you that nobody else there will really speak Italian with you either, and by the way, he says (in Latin), I'm not going to tell you where the bathroom is either! Frustrating to say the least. At least that was how I felt. Please don't get me wrong. Latin is a wonderful language, and is certainly deserving of in-depth study, but not when others seem to be "forcing it upon you".
I fully agree with your apparent view that the article should not in any way legitimize the current UU theology as true Unitarianism, which indeed no longer seems to me to have any resemblance to historical Unitarianism either. But that doesn't mean that we have to pretend that UU theology is non existent, or to try to vaguely imply that UU theology is "illegitimate". I say, let our readers make this determination on their own. By stating clearly in the disambiguation area something like:
This page is about historical Unitarianism as a Christian theology which includes a belief in God and his unitary nature. For the UU Church which began in 1961, and which holds no specific beliefs in Christianity, God, or God's unitary nature, see Unitarian Universalism. For other uses, see Unitarianism (disambiguation).
I think something like this would say it all. Why not say it? And why not repeat something like it in the beginning of the first paragraph? Why now insist that a typical uninformed new reader has to stumble around in the article for several minutes before even gaining the slightest glimmering of the "big picture" of what has happened, and what is happening with the term: Unitarinism? Scott P. (talk) 21:56, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
Since you have voiced no objections to this revised compromise, I am going to now insert it. Scott P. (talk) 22:26, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

b4 300s[edit]

kristianiti=unitarianithout?(b4triniticoncept acepted81.11.230.198 (talk) 07:25, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

reduce material about Biblical Unitarianism in one Italian church[edit]

I've cut all this as hopelessly disproportionate. I know it's in the page history, but I'm putting it out here as well, in case anyone can find a better use for it. Maybe another article? But given that the whole section on Biblical Unitarianism was tagged as of dubious relevance to this article, I do think the length on Italy is doubly unuseful. Carbon Caryatid (talk) 14:17, 1 June 2016 (UTC)

This Movement in Italy claims a strong Christian and biblical soul. From the analysis of documents that you can find on the official site of the CCI,[1][2] it is clear that the doctrinal position of this Christian confession of faith is therefore akin to the so-called Biblical Unitarian movement[3][4][5] and on the other hand, far from that of the non-Christian churches in the Unitarian Universalist Association who, although sharing a 16th-century origin, have been influenced by many non-biblical ideas (e.g., Universalism). That Association does included unitarian Christian churches such as King's Chapel, Boston, linked with the Unitarian Universalist Christian Fellowship. The Christian Church in Italy has significant similarities with the Biblical Unitarian movement[clarification needed], although it maintains a cautious position on some doctrinal points. Wilbur wrote about the Unitarian Movement:

The religious movement whose history we are endeavoring to trace...became fully developed in thought and polity in only four countries, one after another, namely Poland, Transylvania, England and America. But in each of these it showed, along with certain individual characteristics, a general spirit, a common point of view, and a doctrinal pattern that tempt one to regard them as all outgrowths of a single movement which passed from one to another; for nothing could be more natural than to presume that these common features implied a common ancestry. Yet such is not the fact, for in each of these four lands the movement, instead of having originated elsewhere, and been translated only after attaining mature growth, appears to have sprung independently and directly from its own native roots, and to have been influenced by other and similar movements only after it had already developed an independent life and character of its own.[6]

The Christian Church in Italy believes that God is only One Person[7] in direct contrast with the doctrine of the Trinity which defines God as Three coexisting Persons in one Substance (Essence), merged into one being.[8] So CCI adheres to strict monotheism by believing that Jesus was a perfect and holy man,[9] virginally begotten in Mary, the promised Christ (i.e., Messiah), the Son of God, and is now at the right hand of God praying for the whole Church.[10][11] A continuing non-Trinitarian unitarian Christian Church is the Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church of Ireland, with all except two of its congregations in Northern Ireland.

The Christian Church in Italy rejects certain traditional Christian doctrines[12] including the soteriological doctrines of original sin and predestination.[13][14] The CCI is distinct from other religious movements which exalt Jesus as the only true God, as for example the Oneness Pentecostalism, the United Pentecostal Church International, and the True Jesus Church.

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Replaced Fiddlersmouth (talk) 01:15, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
    • ^ Chiesa Cristiana di Frosinone, Una delle Chiese o gruppi associati alla CCI.
    • ^ "Presentazione della Comunità". 
    • ^ Christadelphians
    • ^ Socinianism
    • ^ Polish Brethren
    • ^ Earl Morse Wilbur, A History of Unitarianism, vol. 2 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1952), p. 166.
    • ^ as Atlanta Bible College and The Worldwide Scattered Brethren Network
    • ^ Cite error: The named reference Knight was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
    • ^ Chi è Gesù?
    • ^ Miano, David (2003), An Explanation of Unitarian Christianity, AUC, p. 15.
    • ^ J. Gordon Melton, Encyclopedia of Protestantism, 2005, p. 543@ "Unitarianism – The word unitarian [italics] means one who believes in the oneness of God; historically it refers to those in the Christian community who rejected the doctrine of the Trinity (one God expressed in three persons). Non-Trinitarian Protestant churches emerged in the 16th century in ITALY, POLAND, and TRANSYLVANIA."
    • ^ Joseph Priestley, one of the founders of the Unitarian movement, defined Unitarianism as the belief of primitive Christianity before later corruptions set in. Among these corruptions, he included not only the doctrine of the Trinity, but also various other orthodox doctrines and usages (Earl Morse Wilbur, A History of Unitarianism, Harvard University Press 1952, pp. 302–303).
    • ^ From The Catechism of the Hungarian Unitarian Church in Transylvanian Romania: "Unitarians do not teach original sin. We do not believe that through the sin of the first human couple we all became corrupted. It would contradict the love and justice of God to attribute to us the sin of others, because sin is one's own personal action" (Ferencz Jozsef, 20th ed., 1991. Translated from Hungarian by Gyorgy Andrasi, published in The Unitarian Universalist Christian, FALL/WINTER, 1994, Volume 49, Nos.3–4; VII:107).
    • ^ In his history of the Unitarians, David Robinson writes: "At their inception, both Unitarians and Universalists shared a common theological enemy: Calvinism." He explains that they "consistently attacked Calvinism on the related issues of original sin and election to salvation, doctrines that in their view undermined human moral exertion." (D. Robinson, The Unitarians and the Universalists, Greenwood Press, 1985, pp. 3, 17.)