Basic Ideas - Grundgedanken
In the Religious Community of the German Unitarians people have united out of a sense of religious self-responsibility and have given themselves a democratic constitution. Each member can voice his own religious opinion and participate in the development of common statements of faith.
The German Unitarians are part of a centuries-old tradition of free religion and conception of the world and are allied with movements of kindred spirit all over the world. They are aware of the difficulty of expressing religious ideas in words. While preserving the freedom of their personal views, they have agreed on the following basic ideas.
Religiousness is an elementary constituent of human nature. It enables all human beings to relate to life as a whole, and motivates them to look for meaning in life. Through experiencing, interpreting and forming their life they come to the conclusions that give them an idea of sense for their life and thus constitute their religion. This religion gives them security, courage and orientation.
A communal religion originates from the religion of individuals, when people with similar religious ideas join and develop common forms of expression.
No religion must claim to be in command of the absolute truth, as its origins are all in human beings. Constraint of faith and conscience cannot be justified.
We believe that everything that exists, constitutes a whole. Its various manifestations are integrated in an all-embracing correlation. We regard ourselves as a part of this correlation, which sustains us and which is influenced by us.
In and around ourselves we feel the same creative energy which many of us think of being divine. It is at work on a large as well as on a small scale, and it is constantly present even if we are not always aware of it.
Unitarian religion is open to new knowledge and new experiences.
Life is a continuous, self-creative sequence of origination, change and passing. This takes place in variable interdependencies.
We feel great respect for life being well aware of its oppositions and severities. The variety of its manifestations means great wealth for us. We oppose very firmly to all efforts to reduce this variety. The transitoriness of the individual is an indispensable condition for the development of this variety.
Human life is one of the innumerable manifestations of nature, it is integrated in the evolution of life. Each person is an indivisable whole, who develops physically, spiritually and mentally in interdependence with his environment. Although all people are different individuals, they have equal rights.
Due to the human ability to understand and evaluate various correlations, each person is responsible for his commissions and omissions towards himself, to other people and to his environment. All decisions that humans take, and everything that happens to them bear chances for development as well as risks. Strong and weak points, strokes of fate and culpable entanglements call for discussion and mastering.
Death is the end of human life. There is no certainty about what follows. This awareness strengthens our endeavours to live our lives consciously and meaningfully. Each person leaves traces which outlive his death.
Individuals develop in a sphere of conflict between striving for independence and need for love and security. For this reason people need communities which give them security and which they can help to form.
Human life develops best in the peaceful cohabitation of responsible people. We want to contribute actively to this aim in our society, in our country and in mankind. We want to carry out conflicts peacefully by striving for understanding. We realize that there are conflicts which we cannot resolve and therefore must endure.
We live in nature and are part of it. We therefore feel obliged to treat it with respect even if personal sacrifices are required.