MacLean Religious Education Special Collection
Sharing the history of Religious Education
The Sophia Lyon Fahs Center for Religious Education was founded in 1983 to provide a space for reading, relaxation and resources for seminary students and practitioners of religious education. The Center focused on preserving the records of the past to build upon the traditions that teach us; creating a space for researching, interpreting and documenting educational practices in congregations; and modeling how to draw creatively upon these materials to speak to the needs of the future.
Out of its larger mission, The Fahs Center created the Angus MacLean Religious Collection, culling curricular materials, teaching artifacts, theoretical frameworks, and the personal papers of liberal religious educators dating back the origins of the UU faith tradition. Materials were culled from the Meadville Lombard library stacks, the Liberal Religious Educators Association, UU congregations, and from personal collections of RE practitioners from around the world.
In 2012, the newly formed Fahs Collaborative Laboratory for Innovation in Faith Formation took on the work of cataloguing and updating the MacLean Special Collection. A corps of master religious educators formed a volunteer working group to prepare the collection for use in classrooms, research, and curriculum development.
Today The Fahs Collaborative – through collections such as MacLean - is working to ensure that the power of liberal teaching and learning actualizes the wisdom found in this collection to inspire the flourishing of human life, writ large. The Collection expects to expand it work to gathering the story of professional development for religious educators, curricular materials that speak to the spiritual needs of children, youth and adults, vibrant teaching found in summer camps and conferences, the teaching and learning experience of identity groups within UU’ism, and the professional papers of professional theorists and practitioners.