JLA Dialogue

How James Luther Adams Became Important to Me and Why He Still Is

Scotty McLennan: How James Luther Adams Became Important to Me and Why He Still Is

  James Luther Adams—Luther to his family, JLA to his colleagues and students, Jim to his friends—profoundly  influenced countless others.  How and why this was so can best be known by what they say about him—his  stories, his intellectual probes and moral passions.  Here’s the first in an occasional series—statements by those who may or […] Read More

James Luther Adams in His Own Words

James Luther Adams: A Time To Speak

Who was James Luther Adams and why is he important for those who care about the fate of liberalism—liberal religion and liberal democracy alike—in this age of anxiety?  For an answer there is no better place to begin than Adams’s own dialogues at a gathering of the Collegium Association, at Craigville, Massachusetts, in 1986.  We […] Read More

Renewing Liberal Theology

Transforming Liberalism: The Theology of James Luther Adams, book by George Kimmich Beach

Newly Republished Edition: (San Diego: Reader’s Magnet Press, 2021, 381 pages) In this book Adams’s leading editor and interpreter provides a comprehensive synthesis of his thought. The book is organized around Adams’s major themes, giving theological context to the numerous anecdotes that made his rhetoric irresistible. This new edition is available from the UUA InSpirit […] Read More

James Luther Adams and the Lure of Process

JLA and the Lure of Process Like many who attended Harvard Divinity School, I had the pleasure of visiting with James Luther Adams at his home in Cambridge.  He customarily invited all the Unitarian Universalist students on an annual basis for an evening of conversation. Jim was a gracious host and renowned scholar nearing the […] Read More

Theology in an Existential Key

In his mid-life autobiographical essay, “Taking Time Seriously,” James Luther Adams notes the profound effect that singing in the chorus for a performance of Bach’s Mass in B Minor had on him.  Recounting the experience a decade later, he speaks of being emotionally overwhelmed—at once both humbled and exalted: “In the language of Kierkegaard, I […] Read More

2015 Forum: Gary Dorrien, James Luther Adams and the Spirit of Liberal Theology

Rev. Dr. Gary Dorrien Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary and Professor of Religion at Columbia University Presented on November 11, 2015, at Union Theological Seminary in New York City   James Luther Adams and the Spirit of Liberal Theology Watch the presentation and read the full text of lecture below. […] Read More

2011 Forum Lecture: George Kimmich Beach, “What’s Past Is Prologue”: James Luther Adams and the Unitarian Universalists

DATE AND TIME November 10, 2011, at 7:00 p.m. at Wilson Chapel, Andover Newton Theological School, 210 Herrick Rd., Newton, Massachusetts. RESPONDENTS Prof. Michael Hogue, Rev. Thomas R. Schade ____________________ LECTURE TEXT “What’s Past Is Prologue”: James Luther Adams and the Unitarian Universalists James Luther Adams Forum on Religion and Society, November 10, 2011, expanded  […] Read More

Social Ethics/Social Justice

A call for communities of faith to take action on climate change

  This is one of two responses to Professor Jared Aaron Farley’s 2019 James Luther Adams Forum on Religion and Society, presented at the University of New Mexico. —GKB Response to the James Luther Adams Forum Lecture The Rev. Angela Herrera, Senior Minister, First Unitarian Church of Albuquerque November 10, 2019 University of New Mexico […] Read More

John Howard Yoder on The Church as Witness to Peace

The Trump regime has brought us to the brink of disastrous war.  Facing this crisis, will we as a religious community give witness to peace?  The following address is as timely and  challenging today as it was when first presented by John Howard Yoder in 1984. The text is transcribed from Yoder’s James Luther Adams […] Read More

Biblical Roots and Branches

On Reading the Gospel of Mark with Two Eyes

James Luther Adams noted that “the quality of Jesus’ words was matched only by the quality of his life.  Indeed, if he had not possessed his power with words, we would not now know about the power of his life.”  The Gospels of the New Testament are the primary source of what we know of […] Read More

Mark’s Nativity Story: “Now is the appointed time”

The liberal Christian outlook is directed to a Power that is living, that is active in love seeking concrete manifestation, and that finds decisive response in the living posture and gesture of Jesus of Nazareth.”   — James Luther Adams I have asked myself, what do I make of the story of Jesus?  What does it […] Read More

In Memoriam

In memoriam: Stephen C. Mott

The Reverend Dr. Stephen Charles Mott (1940-20224) We are deeply sorry to report the passing of the Rev. Dr. Stephen Charles Mott, a former President of the JLA Foundation. He was born on April 9, 1940 in Lakewood, Ohio. He was the son of the late Royden and Katherine (Hyde) Mott. He called Sandra, his […] Read More

In memoriam: David Boynton Parke

Fathers’ Day, June 21, 2020 With deep sadness we mark the death of the Reverend Dr. David Boynton Parke, on June 6, 2020.  He fell while walking to the nearby home of his daughter, Robin, in Boston, Massachusetts, and died from his head injury a few days later.  David had a long career in parish […] Read More

In memory of David Parke

Peter Iver Kaufman: IF MEMORY SERVES “David doesn’t email,” Kim Beach emailed me. I had hoped to offer David Parke a partnership: he would respond to the Dialog prompt about JLA, and I would append my getting to know him through David’s admiration many years ago. That won’t be possible–at least the first part–but i […] Read More