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Spiritual paths and ethical systems

The Urantia Book, the Urantia
Foundation, and Urantia Fellowship

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Overview:

The Urantia Book is not a complete religion, like others described in this web site. 1,2 It does not have a clergy, or a creed that one is required to believe, or rules of behavior that one must follow. It is a book which has spawned two organizations, now called the Urantia Foundation and the Urantia Fellowship. The book is used by individuals of many religions as a spiritual guide. The readership is mostly Christian, but involves many Jews, Muslims and other theists.

The book states that Urantia is an ancient name for the planet earth. It is a large book with over two thousand pages and almost 200 individual essays that reveal information about:
bullet God,
bullet other supernatural beings,
bullet the history of earth and of the rest of the universe,
bullet the development of humanity,
bullet the history, message and purpose of Yeshua of Nazareth, (a.k.a. Jesus Christ).

History:

During the 1920's and 1930's, a Chicago psychiatrist, Dr. W.S. Sadler (1875-1969) became very interested in an unusual case. Sadler had been asked to examine a patient after the patient's wife noticed he was talking in his sleep, and seemed to be speaking for various super-mortal personalities, called revelators. The name of the patient has been kept secret and the exact manner of communication is not clear. However, Dr. Sadler insisted that this process did not involve spiritualism, channeling, or automatic writing. The contact personality was entirely unconscious (asleep) during the transmission, and had little or no interest in the process when awake. The material that eventually became the Urantia Book was received during the years 1934-35. Sadler organized a group of interested persons, called the Forum, to review and discuss this material.

The Urantia Foundation was founded as a non-profit educational and publishing group in 1950. It is administered by a five member board. It has been publishing the book in English since 1955. 3 More recently, it has expanded their activities to translate the book into many other languages. Their main office is in Chicago, IL. However, they have branch offices around the world. 4

The Urantia Brotherhood was then formed. In 1996, the Foundation forced the Brotherhood to stop using its name; the latter became the Fifth Epochal Fellowship in 1989. The Foundation relented in 1999, and the Fellowship changed its name back to the Urantia Book Fellowship. 5 

The Urantia book was originally published in English, during 1955; it has since been translated into Finnish, French and Spanish.

The Urantia Book contains four parts, composed of individual essays that its followers believe were contributed by celestial beings of various orders:
bullet Part I: The Central and Superuniverses.
bullet Part II: The Local Universe.
bullet Part III: The History of Urantia.
bullet Part IV: The Life and Teachings of Jesus.

There are many concepts in the book which are directly traceable to earlier works by human authors, including scientists and early Seventh-Day Adventists teachers. The celestial revelators explain that they are required to make use of existing human concepts wherever possible.

The group believes that there have been four other major events in the history of mankind, which also contained important revelation from celestial beings. The life of Jesus is considered the fourth. The Urantia book is regarded as the Fifth Epochal Revelation.

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Teachings of the Urantia Book:

The book covers a multitude of subjects including theology, cosmology, evolution, anthropology, and history. Consequently, it is difficult to summarize its teachings. Here are a few selected concepts:
bullet

The world is viewed as one of 10 million inhabited worlds in our local universe called Nebadon. The book states: "1,000,000,000 years ago is the date of the actual beginning of Urantia history. The planet had attained approximately its present size. And about this time it was placed upon the physical registries of Nebadon and given its name, Urantia." 6

bullet God the Universal Father is the ultimate source of all things, and is also knowable as a loving personal being.
 
bullet The Universal Father can act in concert with other deity personalities in a complex association of three trinities, The Trinity of Trinities.
 
bullet The book describes a form of theistic evolution which deviates from the Bible's account in Genesis, Chapter 1 and 2. It also does not fully agree with Naturalistic Evolution, as it is currently understood by geologists, biologists, and other scientists.
 
bullet Just as lower animals evolved into humans, we are destined to evolve and become spirit beings, called finaliters. The book details our long progression of spiritual experiences on other, more advanced, worlds.
 
bullet The book teaches that an a fragment of God's spirit dwells within each person; this is called a "Thought Adjuster." Its role is to guide the individual towards greater spiritual understanding through many lives on other worlds.
 
bullet The book corrects the Genesis account of Adam and Eve and the concept of atonement. Adam and Eve did not "fall," although they fell short of their mandate to uplift humankind. People today do not suffer from original sin, and thus do not need to be redeemed by the blood of Christ. They are inherently children of God.
 
bullet The book counters many beliefs that Christians have traditionally held about the nature and message of Jesus Christ; it expands upon his known teachings. They refer to Jesus by the English translation of one of his actual names: Joshua ben Joseph. They view him as the 7th incarnation of Michael of Nebadon, the 611,121st Creator Son of God. Jesus is believed to have toured the Roman empire with two people from India in the years preceding his ministry. He is believed to have died on the cross and resurrected in a morontial body (an intermediate state between matter and spirit). As such, he was visible to numerous disciples before his ascension. He now is the sovereign of our universe, where he "represents and actually embodies the personality presence of the Universal Father."
 
bullet Jesus boldly proclaimed the spiritual equality of women at a time when women were not even allowed on the main floor of the synagogue. The book explains that Jesus appointed twelve women evangelists, and these women remained faithful even when his apostles denied or betrayed him.
 
bullet The book attributes the following teachings to Jesus:

bullet "Prayer is self-reminding; worship is self-forgetting."

bullet "Worship must alternate with service, work should alternate with play, religion should be balanced by humor, profound philosophy should be relieved by rhythmic poetry, the strain of living should be relaxed by the restfulness of worship."
 
bullet The world's religions are all beneficial, "to the extent that they bring man to God and bring the realization of the Father to man... all contain truth." "The Hebrews based their religion on goodness; the Greeks on beauty; both religions sought truth. Jesus revealed a God of love, and love is all-embracing of truth, beauty, and goodness."
 
bullet True religion "is to know God as your Father and man as your brother. Religion is not a slavish belief in threats of punishment or magical promises of future mystical rewards."

Other information:

bullet Copyright status: The Urantia Foundation renewed its copyright of the Urantia Book in 1983. On 2001-JUN-20, at a federal court in Oklahoma City, OK, a jury declared the renewal to be invalid. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case. The text of the Urantia Book is now in the public domain.
 
bullet Emblem: "The Banner of Michael is the emblem of the Urantia/Urantian religion." It is defined in the Urantia Book: "...the banner of Michael, the material emblem of the Trinity government of all creation, the three azure blue concentric circles on a white background." (53.5.4)." One version consists of a triangular white flag with three concentric blue circles.

References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. The Urantia Foundation is located at 533 Diversey Parkway, Chicago, IL 60614. Their phone number is 773-525-3319 or 1-800-URANTIA. Their Email address is urantia@urantia.org
  2. Versions of the Urantia Papers are available online at: http://urantiapapers.freeurantia.org/  and http://urantiabook.org/
  3. The Urantia Foundation's website is at: www.urantia.org
  4. "About Urantia Foundation," Urantia Foundation, at: http://www.urantia.org/
  5. The Urantia Book Fellowship's website is at: http://urantiabook.org/
  6. "The Urantia Book, Paper 57, 'The Origin of Urantia'," Urantia Foundation, at: http://www.urantia.org/

Other information sources:

bullet A list of Urantia Book related websites is at: http://ubwebsites.com/ They list major sites, introductory sites, locations where the complete text can be downloaded, translations, discussion books, etc.

bullet A list of web sites that form the Urantia Book Readers United Resource web ring is at: http://www.webring.org/

bullet Norm DuVal has a "Urantia Foundation Truth Site" at: http://www.freeurantia.org/ Their site is "dedicated to religious freedom, 'unceasing exposure' ...of Urantia Foundation's sophistries, and resistance to Urantia Foundation's religious tyranny and persecution against believers of the Urantia Revelation."

bullet A Urantia Reflectivity Circuit lists a directory of Urantia book study groups, social gatherings, book reviews, etc. See: http://www.ubook.org/

bullet Locations of Urantia study groups can be obtained from the Urantia Foundation or from the Fifth Epochal Fellowship, 529 Wrightwood Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614 (312-327-0424).

bullet Urantiabook.org maintains a list of study groups at http://urantiabook.org/

bullet A book which is critical of the Urantia Book but contains interesting historical references is: Martin Gardner, "Urantia: The Great Cult Mystery" Prometheus Books (1995). Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store

bullet The Fellowship of Readers of the Urantia Book maintains a very extensive WWW site at: http://www.ubfellowship.org

bullet UBtheNEWS is an independent project by Urantia Book enthusiasts. It explains corroborations between the Urantia Book and subsequent scientific discoveries. See: http://www.ubthenews.com/

Amazon.com lists a number of books related to the Urantia book:

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Copyright © 1996 to 2012 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2012-NOV-16
Author: B.A. Robinson

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