Religious Society of Czech Unitarians (RSCU)

At the end of my last post I noted that I had contributed to a book called The Religious Roots of Contemporary European Identity: Faltin, Lucia and Wright, Melanie J. (eds), Continuum Press, London 2007, writing a chapter entitled The Religious Society of Czech Unitarians (RSCU) and the construction of Czech National identity. I have long had an interest in the work of their founder Norbert Fabián Čapek (1870-1942) and, for various reasons, was asked to present a paper to a conference at Cambridge in 2006 on the subject. I had the privilege of many conversations with two key figures in the Prague church and found myself very impressed at what I found.

As regular readers of this blog will know I'm not at all hopeful (actually I'm very pessimistic) that Unitarianism (if it makes any sense to call it today an 'ism' since it is no longer as a whole anything identifiably coherent) will survive the difficult illiberal years ahead of us. However, the one hope I have is that Čapek's thought might generally be built upon to offer the world (and ourselves!) something strong and coherently liberal. Naturally, his thought as a whole is not without problems but, for contemporary Unitarians who realise that (in the UK at least) we are close to disappearing, I think it remains a good place to start the process of rebuilding a coherent, strong identity and practical world view.

Anyway for those interested in saving this fine liberal religious tradition I do recommend taking a look at the RSCU's Resources Page which has a lot of interesting stuff that gives a good flavour of their history and thought. Who knows, the religious revival Capek successfully brought about in the late 1920's in Czechoslovakia, might happen here too. God knows we need it.