By Eric Stevenson
An overview of Eric’s thinking can be read here.
Some Notes by Rev. Rex A E Hunt on Eric’s contribution to Progressive Religion
For many years Eric ran a religion/bible study group at Cox’s Road Uniting Church. However he ran foul of the Church Council – he was too progressive -so he moved the group to the downstairs section of his own home.
In 2002 Rex Hunt formed The Centre for Progressive Religious Thought Canberra and a year later Eric applied for his group to join. A further year later, in 2004, CPRT Canberra invited New Zealander Sir Lloyd Geering to tour. Lloyd accepted and on his way to Canberra stopped over in Sydney to officially launch The Centre for Progressive Religious Thought Sydney – Eric’s group.
This group continued to meet until 2016/17 when official meetings came to an end. However several former members now meet informally every couple of months in each other’s homes.
In 2007 Spirit of Life Unitarian Fellowship in Kirribilli arranged a visit to Australia by Bishop John Shelby Spong – the major presenter at the inaugural Common Dreams of Religious Progressives Conference. Theme of the Conference was ‘Progressive Religion as a Transforming Agent’. The Conference sort to reclaim the public ground for tolerance and respect on multi-faith issues, and explored ways to build and sustain faith communities that are intentionally progressive.
Eric, along with Laurence Gormley, arranged and hosted Bishop Spong at a Conference service – held at Ravenswood School for Girls. It was a Unitarian service led by Ian Brown. The LGBTQI choir did the singing from the UU songbook.
Two lectures that influenced Eric’s thinking when he came across them in 1968