Aviva Directory » Faith & Spirituality » World Religions » Esoteric Religions » Urantia

The religion based on the Urantia Book is difficult to delineate because there is no central organization, and informal study groups tend to spring up, then vanish or splinter.

Additionally, those involved in the movement are usually nonsectarian, asserting that people from various religious backgrounds can study the book as a means of enrichment, rather than as a contradiction of their faith.

There are no Urantian churches, reading rooms, temples, or places of worship, and the Urantia Book has not produced clergy or missionaries. Although many have come to believe in the teachings of the Urantia Book, worship is as individual as reading.

The organizations that have grown up around the Urantia Book were created to enforce or contend for the rights to the copyrights, and have been measured in terms of book sales rather than memberships.

Since the book has been in the public domain since 2001, other organizations have also published it, and copies of the text have been published in various formats, for the Internet, Kindle, and iOS applications. Audiobooks are also available.

Reader groups that have come closest to representing organizations of believers are the Urantia Society, Urantia Foundation, Urantia Book Fellowship, Urantia Association International, and Teaching Mission Network, as well as local and regional associations.

The quest for life on other planets has long been a subject of intrigue and speculation, and many have simply assumed that extraterrestrial life is a reality. This belief has spawned a number of religions, fellowships, and organizations. Among them are those that grew out of the Urantia Book.

The origins of the Urantia Book are not well known. Neither the book or its publishers named a human author but presents the book as having been written by seven celestial beings.

The Urantia Book is an exhaustive revelation of the cosmos told from the perspective of highly advanced space beings and communicated to the inhabitants of the earth, which it names Urantia.

In 1911, William and Lena Sadler, both well-known physicians in Chicago, were called to see a man who would fall into a deep sleep, and whose wife reported that she would be unable to awaken him. Sadler, who was also known to be a debunker of the paranormal, observed the man over several episodes. Over time, the man produced verbal communications that claimed to be originating from "student visitors."

By the 1920s, the form of communication became lengthy handwritten documents, which the Sadlers passed around to friends who met for informal Sunday philosophical discussions. The group, known as the Forum, devised hundreds of questions, which were asked of the unnamed celestial entities who communicated through the man, who was never named. These were answered with fully written responses, and these were later assembled to form the Urantia Book. The last Forum gathering was in 1942.

A smaller group of five individuals, including the Sadlers, referred to as the Contact Commission, were responsible for acting as custodians of the manuscripts.

The Urantia Foundation was formed in 1950, and the Urantia Book was published in 1955.

The Urantia Book provides a lengthy background for understanding the physical and spiritual structure of the universe, one that is dominated by spirits, and managed by personalities. The book describes the geography of the universe. The innermost area is the Isle of Paradise. The surrounding area is the central universe, known as Havona. Surrounding Havona are the seven super universes, designated by number. Our planet, known as Urantia, is in the super universe, named Orvonton, super universe number seven. The four outermost areas are the four outer space levels.

According to the Urantia Book, God is the creator, and an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, infinite, and eternal spirit personality, known as the Father. Parallelling Christianity, the Book teaches that God exists in a Trinity of three individualized personalities who are co-equal: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit, also known as the Universal Father, Eternal Son, and Infinite Spirit. The Book identifies Jesus of Nazareth as the Creator Son who incarnated on Earth, and the rest of the Gospel, as well as the theory of evolution, are incorporated into the mindset of the Urantia Book.

The Book's teachings of the history of the world includes its development 4.5 billion years ago, long ages of organic evolution, and mankind occurring about a million years ago, originating from a lemur ancestor. The first humans were named Andon and Fonta.

The progress of human evolution is said to have followed a divine plan that included gifts of revelation by various orders of celestial teachers, who will eventually lead us to an ideal world status of "light and life."

 

 

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