Towards Beloved Community is a re-working of five conference papers delivered to the 2005 Hucklow Summer School - a religious education conference for Unitarians and Liberal Christians. In it Cathal Courtney challenges the reader to reconsider what religion and spirituality can mean today. Poised and clear as he skilfully surveys the cultural shifts, revolutions and philosophies that have brought about a postmodern society, he asks, what can religion and spirituality look like in such a world? Rejecting much of what contemporary religion has to offer, Courtney looks at ways of marrying our collective doubt to the needs which are so apparent in our world. Immersed in the inclusive ethos of the Unitarian faith, he suggests that neither right beliefs nor shared beliefs are necessary prerequisites for acting as agents of love and justice in the world. Instead he offers the reader a vision of a community that opens its arms to the world beyond through a sense of shared suffering and through an appreciation of the mystery which is so often rejected in our culture.
Towards Beloved Community is a challenging book, but it is also a deeply consoling book, forged in a compassionate heart, working at the coalface of religion in Britain today. The Author Rev Cathal Courtney is a Unitarian minister serving congregations in Glasgow and Aberdeen. He wrote a regular column for north London's N16 magazine and contributed to a variety of journals over the last seven years. He features as the character Right on Rev in The Oldies 'East of Islington' column and sometimes enjoys the notoriety which this brings. He is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin and in 2005 was elected a fellow of The Royal Society of Arts.