This Sunday: Are Heresy and Doubt Essential Religious Qualities?

Visiting speaker, Jack Peirce will lead a conversation about the nature of faith and religious inquiry. Inspired by the controversial writings of French philosopher and Jesuit theologian, Teilhard de Chardin, Jack will start the conversation using a list of words and sayings to help us explore the positive role of heresy and doubt, or agnosticism, in religious thought. We will explore such words as resilience, belief, adaptive unconscious, uncertainty and problem-solving — where verbal definitions come readily, albeit variably — and wonder, awe and reverence, where definitions are harder to come by, but which converge on religious experience. Speaker, Jack Peirce. Lay leader, John Peirce. Accompanist, Laurel Holmes.

Jack is the father of UUFF member, John Peirce, and the grandfather of Maia Peirce. He and his wife, Jean, will be visiting from Ann Arbor, Michigan, for Maia’s graduation. Jack is a retired physician and hospital administrator. He was introduced to the ideas of Teilhard de Chardin at Fountain Street Church, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was a member for many years. Fountain Street got its start as a Baptist church but turned gradually towards a non-creedal liberal faith that holds that no public profession of faith is needed to be a person of faith and that the task of organized religion is not to secure certain beliefs but to demand integrity of mind of soul regardless of belief. The church’s senior ministers are Unitarian Universalists. In Ann Arbor, Jack attends the Episcopal church for the beauty of its liturgy.