Despite CUUPs, Unitarians Still Aesthetically Deprived

Victoria Weinstein, a blogging Unitarian minister (also known for her clerical-fashion advice blog) critiques her fellow UUs for neglecting the aesthetic side of worship:

I wonder how much of our beauty-avoidance is a hangover from our iconoclastic, Puritan origins in America. If so, it’s time we got over it and started realizing that the Arts are one of the most profound ways to communicate the humanist gospel. All our clergy should have some understanding of the fine arts, the humanities, not just theology and social justice.

Nor does she think that the increased Pagan element within Unitarian Universalist congregations has improved the aesthetic poverty. From the comments:

In fact, I believe that the neo-pagan [sic] community has done more harm than good by inflicting too many embarrassingly bad rituals, dances and music on our worshiping communities.

Discuss.

5 Comments

  1. Kate says:

    Sadly, I can understand where she’s coming from. While paganism SHOULD bring beauty and pageantry and aesthetic abundance to ritual, *neo-paganism* tends toward the ridiculous or anemic all too often. Instead, perhaps she could draw inspiration from non-neo pagans – either ancient traditions, or the modern religions like Hinduism (they put on amazing spectacles), Shinto, Yoruba, and hybrids like Santeria.

  2. [...] feature a famous face, but is one I particularly liked.Aesthetically Challenged Pagans? Chas Clifton points me to a post by Unitarian-Universalist minister Victoria Weinstein, perhaps better known in the UU blogosphere [...]

  3. I’ve responded to this at my own blog. In short, there’s plenty of great ritual, music, and dance to be found within modern Paganism if you know where to look. If PeaceBang is only getting the bad stuff it may be more the fault of UU culture watering down Paganism than Paganism introducing “more harm than good” to UU.

  4. Jamie says:

    I am biased I suppose but all one has to do to see some amazing music and ritual in a neopagan light is to look towards the ADF ritual honoring the life of Isaac Bonewits.

  5. Hawthorn says:

    I think it was G. K. Chesterton who said “Anything worth doing is worth doing badly”.