9.29.2009

Challenge of a Liberal Faith

The challenge here is to actually get through this book. 165 pages of reading has never been so daunting.

I picked up this scholarly tome in an attempt to learn more about Unitarianism - Unitarian Universalism, to be specific. I'll be honest, my interest derives from a possibly ridiculous internet quiz that told me this was my "matching faith." I'm pretty interested in world religions anyway, and I've been thinking a lot about my own personal faith (hence the quiz), so this really got me interested to learn more. I know almost nothing about this faith so I was starting from scratch in my research. After laboring through the first 30 pages, which took me days, I might add, it became clear that this book isn't the one to acquaint me with the faith.

As many of you who know me can attest, I have a firm commitment to finishing the book I've started, even if I can't stand the characters, find the plot impractical -- or the writer pretentious. I try and give it the benefit and finish it off, let it marinate in my mind and see if hindsight is kinder to it. Hell, at least I can say I've read it and gave it a fair shake.

I didn't finish this book. I couldn't. It's the first time I can say that in almost a decade. Snoozer full of abstracts and lofty ideals I just couldn't get in to. I'm no more knowledgeable about the faith now than I was when I started. So I haven't answered any of my burning questions of what I'm doing here and how to live the most fulfilled life possible - at least not with this read. The highlight of the book was the FAQ section, but even that seems so fence straddling, I can't tell you what a UU does or does not believe. I wonder if it's a reflection of the faith or just the author's ability?

The dearth of books on this religion was sort of a weird to me. I mean, I can't be the only one thinking about what religious affiliation I might be, right? Why is it so hard to find a book that can help you choose? Or is the notion of having a religious affiliation antiquated? Is "practicing" being phased out? Truthfully, I have a hard time coming up with friends that actually go to church. Do you? I'd love to hear from you, if you do.

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