The History of our Name
Excerpts from “What Unitarians and Universalists Believe” by Rev. Charles Eddis
The word “Unitarian” comes from a distinguishing belief its founders held four centuries ago in the unity of God, in contrast to the Christian belief in the Trinity, God in three persons.
The word “Universalist” comes from a belief in universal salvation: the belief that Jesus achieved what he set out to do in dying on the cross, thereby saving the human race from perdition. All souls were ultimately saved, whatever their beliefs or morals. Universalists became popularly known as “the no hell church.”
Establishing roots in the United States in the 19th century, many early Universalists agreed with Unitarians on the undivided oneness of deity. In the 20th century their church became much broader, many Universalists focussing on the universal insights and values of all religions.
In the following video (produced in the U.S.) you’ll realize that “Unitarian Universalists” can mean something slightly different for each person.