Five Smooth Stones

Among the most influential descriptions of what was core and key to Unitarian Universalism was James Luther Adams’ “Five Smooth Stones of Liberal Religion.” Adams was the preeminent UU theologian of the mid-20th century. His five points are still a good description of our approach to religion:


  • We are always learning new truths.
  • We freely choose to enter into relationship with one another.
  • We are morally obligated to work to establish a just and loving community.
  • We have moral agency, and our actions are the source of good things happening.
  • We have hope and optimism that are grounded in reason and in the resources available for meaningful change.