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urantia book source studies
back selected source quotes  
pdf papers paralleled  
the sadler project


articles and section studies  
Some Human Sources of the UB (1992)
 pdf Gardner, York and Block (1997)  
 pdf Race in Context (1999)  
pdf Morontia Mota-New Perspective (2000)
pdf Mota - the Coda (2002)
pdf Consider the Source (2002)  
pdf 159:3 Instruction for Teachers and Believers (2001, 2011)  
pdf The Urantia Atmosphere (2004, 2011)   
The Rodan Parallels (2003, 2011)
Bill Sadler Comments on Rodan
The World's Religions (2003)  
The 1943 Midwayer Messages (2004, 2012)
155:5-6 Discourses on True Religion (2011)
16:7 Morals, Virtue and Personality (2011)
139- Apostles Study Part I (2010)


188:4-5 Lessons from the Cross (2011)

Click here to read the parallels

From Matthew Block:

These parallels represent my attempt to trace how a human source was used as a base text in inditing Paper 160 and the first two sections of Paper 161. If you feel so moved, please peruse the parallels and share your thoughts and feelings about them with me, either through e-mail or the UBRON message board.

Having reflected on these parallels in relative isolation for a few years, I've worked up an outline of my own observations, but I won't share them until a loose forum of interested readers has been formed to participate in ongoing conversation.

All I will say now is that I feel the parallels shed light on a previously unappreciated dimension of the Urantia Book: the creative genius and spiritual artistry that went into adapting source texts for inclusion in the Papers. I am awed when I see how comments from relatively mundane books have been transformed by the writers of the Urantia Book into passages of great beauty and inspirational power.

In the case of the Rodan papers, the major source appears to have been Henry Nelson Wieman's 1930 book, The Issues of Life, the full text of which can be found at the Urantia Book Fellowship's website: http://www.urantiabook.org.

Wieman was a well-known theologian and philosopher of religion who began his career as a Presbyterian pastor. In 1930, when The Issues of Life was published, he was a professor at the University of Chicago's Divinity School and had already written four books in much the same vein as The Issues of Life. I do not know if Wieman ever met Dr. Sadler, but it is certainly possible that they were acquainted. Sadler cites Wieman's Normative Psychology of Religion (1935) in the bibliography of his 1936 psychiatry textbook. Regina Westcott-Wieman (Wieman's wife, who was a psychologist) wrote a mixed review of Sadler's textbook for The Christian Century, in which she concluded, "Altogether, the volume would not seem to be the wise selection to serve as a basic reference for physicians, sociologists, psychologists, pastors or nurses, either in practice or in training."

Henry Nelson Wieman was a theological radical, as seen in The Issues of Life and his other books. He did not believe in a personal God or in survival after death, and denied the existence of a transcendent spiritual dimension beyond the natural realm. Urantia Book readers, such as myself, may well wonder how Wieman could have been inspired by a God he defined as "the order of existence and possibility which makes for greatest value." But he was fervently dedicated to this concept, and The Issues of Life was largely written in the attempt to inspire others with his theological beliefs.

Considering how different Wieman's views are from the Urantia Book's, it is remarkable that his book appears to have been chosen for adaptation. But the author of Papers 160 and 161 performed a splendid conceptual transformation of Wieman's worldview and theology, which can be seen in many passages in the parallels. I call the UB author's technique of spiritualizing paraphrasing "meta-phrasing." (See my article "Morontia Mota: A New Perspective" (2000) where I describe "meta-phrasing.")

I hope you find the parallels as fascinating and challenging as I have. Let's talk about them.



On the right column is the complete, sequential text of Paper 160 and the first two sections of Paper 161. On the left are the corresponding passages from the first edition of The Issues of Life. (The page number appears at the end of each passage.)

Because Wieman's book was used mostly in consecutive order, the left column reads coherently, for the most part. I recommend that you read this column from top to bottom first, before studying the parallel rows, to get an overview of Wieman's teachings and vocabulary. (Note: The notation [contd] means that the successive passages follow each other directly in the book without intervening sentences.)

Some verbatim or near-verbatim parallelisms, as well as exact synonyms, have been BOLDED. (This includes some shared single words.) Words and clauses marking significant deviations between Wieman and the UB have been UNDERLINED.

Certain phrases in the Urantia Book column have been italicized and put into Arial typeface. This has been done in an attempt to highlight the "meta-phrases" introduced by the midwayer in spiritualizing and cosmicizing Wieman's mundane worldview and naturalistic theology.

For more on Henry Nelson Wieman
Source Authors of the Urantia Book

click on picture for details

For a bibliography of Wieman's works,
click here

For Bill Sadler's comments on Rodan,
click here