uuworld.org: liberal religion and life

Mailbox, Fall 2007

Thoughts on Buddhism, feminist history, and Margaret Fuller.
By Jane Greer
Fall 2007 8.18.07

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A grand total of 43 letters slid through our mail slot this quarter. By far the most popular subject was the Summer issue’s package of stories on UUs and Buddhism, which drew ten letters. Two readers wrote about the feature story on congregational antiracism efforts, and one responded to Robert Hardies’s essay “Love the Contradictions.”

A recurring theme in the Buddhism letters was the balance many writers found between their Buddhist practice and their Unitarian Universalism. Another was whether Buddhism could be called atheistic or not. Newell Davis of Bourne, Massachusetts, wrote: “Some forms of Zen Buddhism do believe that through meditation one can unite with a Universal Consciousness. It’s not common, but the idea that all forms of Buddhism have no God in mind may be incorrect.”

The Metro New York District’s Women and Religion committee thanked us for Kimberly French’s “Looking Back” article about the 1977 Women and Religion resolution, but the Rev. Tony Larsen of Racine, Wisconsin, questioned some of the claims made about the resolution’s influence: “While the water ceremony comes from Women and Religion groups, chalice lighting and joys and concerns are of older vintage”; both were already practiced at the Olympia Brown UU Church when he arrived there in 1975.

The conversation over whose body is actually interred in Margaret Fuller’s plot at Mt. Auburn Cemetery continues. In the Spring issue Kimberly French wrote that Fuller is buried at the cemetery. David H. Partington of Dalton, New Hampshire, corrected her in a letter in the Summer issue, saying that Fuller’s body and that of her two-year-old son were never recovered after they died at sea. Laurie James of New York City writes that sailors who survived the shipwreck and made it to shore found the boy’s body. “It was brought to Mt. Auburn Cemetery where he was buried, and there is a small marker for him.”

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