The Rev. Thom “Deuterophilocrites” Belote asks if there can be an Emergent Unitarian Universalism. Would it have to be Christian?
My answer: Perhaps. Maybe. I don’t know. I doubt it.
The thing about the Emergent Church is that it seems to be a corrective responsive within some parts of Evangelical Christianity — focusing on ecclesiology — in the context of the postmodern challenge to all traditional religions. In the breach, some Emergent-types seem particularly keen to restore those Christian practices (or cognates) that Evangelicals have rarely or never adopted, particularly the kinesthetic and aesthetic. (Because of its Barthian connotations, I won’t call the Emergent church neo-orthodox like Thom does.)
Unitarian Universalists — the Christians included — have a different set of traditions and issues, and our ecclesiology is one of the few strengths we can go back to for stability. We’re hardly going to fiddle with them. (Take, for instance, the shibboleth made of congregational polity.)
We will be influenced by the same matters — and perhaps some ideas can cross-over — but that’s because we’re living today. But our response will be different, and I won’t hazard a value judgement yet as to any capacity for success.