Ours is a religion with deep roots in the Christian tradition, going back to the Reformation and beyond, to early Christianity. Over the last two centuries our sources have broadened to include a spectrum ranging from Eastern religions to Western scientific humanism. Unitarian Universalists (UUs) identify with and draw inspiration from Atheism and Agnosticism, Buddhism, Christianity, Humanism, Judaism, Earth-CenteredTraditions, Hinduism, Islam, and more. Many UUs have grown up in these traditions—some have grown up with no religion at all. UUs may hold one or more of those traditions’ beliefs and practice its rituals.
Our denonination grew out of two Protestant Christian traditions – the Unitarians and the Universalists—who merged in 1961 to form the Unitarian Universalist Association.
Unitarianism grew out of the Protestant Reformation in 16th century Europe. At that time Unitarian thinkers began to question the authority of creeds and dogmas. There was an emphasis on following Jesus as a moral teacher, and retaining the Oneness of God.
Universalist Christianity began in this country as Christian thinkers and leaders began to question why God would ever damn anyone. Universalists got their name from their belief in universal salvation, a belief that God would save all souls.
We are a living tradition, and open to continuing revelation. In the past 150 years with increased knowledge and exposure to science and other world religions, Unitarian Universalists have broadened their sources for wisdom beyond the Bible. Today, most Unitarian Universalists think of our tradition as being distinct from Christianity, though many of us may still consider ourselves followers of Jesus.