Register Now for Conflagration: A Book Study with Jon Luopa

This class, originally scheduled to begin 1/17/20, has been postponed. New dates will be announced soon.

Cover of Conflagration: How the Transcendentalists Sparked the American Struggle for Racial, Gender, and Social Justice, by John Buehrens

The Transcendentalists played a formative role in Unitarian history. Their passion for social equality stemmed from their belief in spiritual friendship — transcending differences in social situation, gender, class, theology and race that also instigated lasting change in American society. In this five session course, Jon Luopa will help us explore their clarity that none of us can fulfill our own moral and spiritual potential without caring for the spiritual and moral flourishing of others.

Classes will be held on five consecutive Tuesdays, from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. via Zoom meeting. The required text for this course is Conflagration: How the Transcendentalists Sparked the American Struggle for Racial, Gender, and Social Justice, by John Buehrens. Participants are asked to obtain a copy of this book (available through the UUA Bookstore and other outlets) and come prepared for each session’s discussion by reading the association section in the book. (See below)

In Buehrens’ dramatic retelling of the story of the Transcendentalists, he reveals them not as isolated authors but as a community of social activists who shaped progressive American values. 

Conflagration illuminates the connections between key members of the Transcendentalist circle—including James Freeman Clarke, Elizabeth Peabody, Caroline Healey Dall, Elizabeth Stanton, Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Theodore Parker, and Margaret Fuller—who created a community dedicated to radical social activism. These authors and activists laid the groundwork for democratic and progressive religion in America.

In the tumultuous decades before and immediately after the Civil War, the Transcendentalists changed nineteenth-century America, leading what Theodore Parker called “a Second American Revolution.” They instigated lasting change in American society, not only through their literary achievements but also through their activism: transcendentalists fought for the abolition of slavery, democratically governed churches, equal rights for women, and against the dehumanizing effects of brutal economic competition and growing social inequality. Together, their fight for justice changed the American sociopolitical landscape.

Click here for more information and to register before 5 pm on Tuesday, January 12.

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