About the Foundation

The Foundation is devoted to the promulgation of the work and ideas of James Luther Adams (1901-1994), who was one of the leading Unitarian Universalist theologians and ethicists. Adams also played a pivotal role in the shaping of the discipline of social ethics in the United States.

In tribute to JLA at the Society of Christian Ethics, Foundation President Stephen Mott said:

"Adams' theology was closely related to his actions. It shaped and he was shaped by his vital role in a labor strike as a young pastor and by his participation in the resisting underground church in Nazi Germany. He founded and was a major participant in scores of voluntary associations, including the presidency of [the Society of Christian Ethics]. During his Chicago years on the Federated Theological Faculty of the University of Chicago in the early forties and fifties, he was heavily involved in Chicago politics and in resisting racism. At Harvard from the mid-fifties through the sixties, he continued to implement his conception that the theological school must be in the midst of the university and that Christian ethics should be taught and worked out in the context of other spheres of life, especially law, business, and the arts."

Purpose of the James Luther Adams Foundation

Since the death of James Luther Adams in 1994, the JLA Foundation has concentrated its work on two objectives.

The first is the preservation and distribution of The Adams Tapes, which are available on videotape and DVD.

The second objective is to maintain his intellectual heritage. Our main channel for that is the annual James Luther Adams Forum on Religion and Society. The purpose is to sponsor lectures on Adams or on topics associated with his particular concerns for relating Christian faith to society. For maximum exposure, they are moved around the country, such as New York City, Chicago, Berkeley, Detroit, St. Paul, Atlanta, Cambridge, Dallas, Washington, Claremont. The topics have included the arts, regional democracy, civil religion, racism, natural law, international order, worship, ecofeminist theology, and Catholic social thought in relationship to Adamsí contributions.

Posted February 12, 2007

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