2010 Lyceum Papers

Lyceum 2010: New Voices

Title: Forgive Our Debts: Socioeconomic Context of Debt in the Lord's Prayer 
Author: Barbara Hadley


Some scholars hold that the “Historical Jesus” was a real man, that he lived in a specific place, at a specific time, and lived a specific life. Yet little about these specifics can be known because there is little written and little archaeological record about Jesus, the man. This paper constructs a socioeconomic context in which to place the Bible verse, “Forgive our debts” (Matthew 6:12a). 


Title: A Critical Look at the Unity Movement in the Context of Christian Social Ethics: A Dialogue With Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  
Author: Jacquelyn J. Hawkins


It is Unity's responsibility as an organization that educates theologians to be guided by deliberations on the historic themes of faith, by Scripture and tradition, by worship, and by engaged service in the world. This paper will use “dialogue” with one of the foremost Christian theologians of the 20th century—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.—as a guide to shed light on how he used Christian Social Ethics, and in doing so how he effectively transformed an entire society. The dialogue will include excerpts from some of his most memorable interviews, speeches and sermons.


Title: Remythologization as a Hermeneutic Alternative to Demythologization: An Understanding of Jesus a Remythologizer 
Author: Jesse F. Tanner, M.T.S.


In the wake of the Copernican Revolution, the scientific method, the Enlightenment, and the development of industry and technology, the people of the 21st century encounter the world in terms of science and critical rationality more than ever. It seems that even in the face of strong and fervent counter movements such as romanticism, postmodernism and the various religious fundamentalisms, a rationalistic-scientific view is prevalent throughout the world, especially in the West. 

Title: Sexuality, Society and Scripture: Exploring Biblical Views of Homosexuality, Same-Sex Relations and Sin 
Author: Ken Daigle


Scripture is often used to defend, justify and argue sexuality, and specifically homosexuality. Just what does Scripture have to say about homosexuality, if anything, and were does Scripture inform the discussion and where does society inform Scripture? Today there rages a huge debate in our society about homosexuality, and about our society's condemnation or acceptance of persons whom we identify as and label homosexual.


Title: Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up? A Closer Look at the Beatitudes 
Author: Rev. Mark Allen Fuss


As a child growing up in the sixties, I can remember the many varied stories I was taught about Jesus. I wasn't supposed to smoke or drink but Jesus could turn water into wine. He hung out with hookers and the riff-raff of his day, but I was to choose my friends carefully and they needed to be good people. He talked back to the Pharisees and other grownups and I knew what happened when I did that. He could do all these fabulous things according to my preteen mind and according to my teachers … walking on water, raising people from the dead, healing them of sickness, yet he couldn't keep them from killing him. Then they told me he died because of me … the ultimate guilt trip. 


Title: From Jesus to Paul to the Gospels: Does the Tradition Miscarry? 
Author: Patricia J. Veenema


This paper explores the political and social dynamics of the period of the Later Second Temple Era: a dynamic melting pot of cultural influence. The author considers the content of Jesus' teachings found in Q1, the earliest source, seeing it with Greek Cynic influence and discusses Paul's cultural context as a Pharisee and Greek-educated evangelist, along with the message of the Christ Cult and its influence in Paul's letters. 


Title: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Theodore Parker and Their Influence on Charles Fillmore 
Author: Paula G. Coppel


Transcendentalism is often considered the precursor to New Thought. In particular, Ralph Waldo Emerson, one of the most prominent of the transcendentalist leaders and writers, has been called the “forefather of the New Thought movement.” Emerson, along with his transcendentalist contemporary Theodore Parker, provided the Fillmores with a theological basis for the Unity movement. 


Title: The Ever-Changing God: How the God of Process Continues to Evolve and Expand 
Author: Raymond Nelson


The revolution of New Thought is part of a larger spiritual revolution that has been going on for millennia; a spiritual revolution that has brought a “significant advances in our understanding of what God is like and how to relate to God in our daily living.”

 Title: Unity and the Twelve-Step Model: A Theological Comparison
Author: Terry Murray


The intention of this paper is to do a comparison between the theology of Unity's basic teachings and the twelve steps as expressed specifically through the literature of Alcoholics Anonymous. There will be a determined attempt to compare and contrast particular steps within the twelve-step model with each of the particular principles of the commonly accepted Five Basic Principles of Unity. In this paper the teachings of Unity will be the yardstick by which the twelve steps are measured. 

 Title: Does Religion Still Matter: An Atheist and Metaphysical Christian Dialogue
Author: Toni Stephens Coleman


How does Unity answer the questions of the atheist today? Does Unity have answers? Magazine covers ask the question: “Does Religion Still Matter?” What is our answer? This paper discusses the atheist voice showing up in books, interviews and elsewhere today, the effect (positive and negative culturally) and what our response might be.