New August course – Can Humanism Reorient Unitarianism, Before It’s Too Late? – with Mike Werner

Join one of America’s foremost Humanists, Mike Werner, for an extended discussion of his controversial new book Regaining Balance: The Evolution of the UUA, during the month of August.

Mike Werner’s book Regaining Balance: The Evolution of the UUA is not an obituary for Unitarianism, but a prescription for recovery. A recovery is urgently needed. Once one of America’s most influential Protestant denominations, the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) has imploded over the past 40 years, shrinking to 0.05% of the population. Why? Former American Humanist Association president Michael Werner has assembled the reasons, from a fuzzy obsession with pluralism to a disdain for the Humanist values that drove the UUA’s rise to prominence in the first place. “Follow the money,” Werner urges, as he analyzes one policy failure after another. The UUA is a proud institution that retains valuable human assets, carefully catalogued by Werner, that can seize the opportunity presented by today’s sea change in religious attitudes if it will get back to its Humanist roots. The evolution of the UUA from a focus on reason in religion to one of radical tolerance is a primary topic for discussion. Postmodernism, process theology, second wave feminism, value theory, new age, theological education, the “religious redefinition” game, population dynamics, and the age of narcissism in religion are implicated for taking the UUA to ideological extremes of indiscriminate pluralism. Mike Werner is eager to share his many insights and his proposed secular and humanist revolution for Unitarianism before it is too late.

“In this book Mike Werner analyzes what is wrong with the UUA and suggests how we can correct our problems and become once again a vital and growing religious movement. It should be read by every UU who cares about the future of our Association.” William R. Murry, Former President and Dean, Meadville Lombard Theological School, IL.
“Mike Werner has penned a must-read for every humanist interested in restoring the Unitarian Universalist Association to soundness. Better yet—every UU should read Werner’s eye-opening insights, and let the discussion begin!” Marilyn Westfall, co-founder of The Eloquent Atheist and former director of First UU in Lubbock, TX.
“Michael Werner here chronicles the ways that the Boston UUA establishment has been transforming non-creedalism into anythingism, with no significant results in expanded membership. He urges restoring the Enlightenment humanism that had once been emerging.” Robert Tapp, former Dean and Faculty Chair emeritus of The Humanist Institute.
“There is no one more dedicated to both Unitarian Universalism and Humanism than Mike Werner. It’s a pleasure for me to recommend his thoughtful new book. I’m looking forward to the vigorous dialogue that I’m certain it will provoke.” John Hooper, President, HUUmanists Association, UUA.

start/end dates – August 1 / August 31, 2014

Schedule: Participants should get their own e-book or print copy of Regaining Balance: The Evolution of the UUA through the bookstore using this link to Humanist Press. Additional materials are available for free from inside the the virtual classroom, where forums for discussions are also located. Visit the class anytime to contribute your posts and receive Mike’s replies in discussion forums. Online classrooms and their discussion threads are accessible 24/7, so you can participate at any hour of the day when there’s some time in your busy schedule. Your instructor will not be on video and you won’t be either – there is nothing on camera and no particular time of day you have to be present. If an instructor posts a pre-recorded video, you can view it at your convenience. There’s nothing ‘live’ to be missed, and course instructors respond individually and promptly to all questions and comments. Instructors lead everyone through lectures and readings, but no attendance is taken and there are no assignments to complete – instructors are always available when you are ready to engage them about what is on your mind.

Ask Mike Werner about his class: mwerner@ec.rr.com

Mike Werner About the instructor: Fighting for civil rights at an early age, and later working in many Humanist, atheist, and freethought organizations, much of Mike Werner’s life has revolved around progressive activism. Besides a career that included teaching at major universities, Mike has been President of the American Humanist Association, a Board member of the HUUmanists of UUA, a member of the North American Committee for Humanism, and a faculty member of the Humanist Institute. He also was one of the founders of SMART Recovery, a Self Management and Recovery Training recovery program for addictions. Mike presently lives in Wilmington, N.C.