Attached below is a list of books which were used in the inditement of some of the Urantia Papers. Each of these books contains sentences, paragraphs or even whole chapters whose phrasings and organization of thoughts or information are so closely paralleled in the Urantia Papers as to be unmistakable sources. While a few of these have long been known to some readers (e.g., the books by Breasted, Bundy, Fosdick), most were apparently first discovered in libraries and used book stores in the Chicago area during the summer of 1992 in the course of my research into the UB's human sources.
The research so far has been so fruitful mainly because none of these books were obscure; they were all written by authorities in their respective fields (often by professors from prestigious American universities) and many were reviewed in the popular and academic press. Further, the book titles themselves are often "dead giveaways" to the alert reader of the Urantia Papers; by their very titles, for instance, I targeted "Purposive Evolution" and "The Architecture of the Universe" (listed below) as likely primary sources.
It is interesting to note that, while these books cover many fields, including religion, philosophy, archaeology, physics, astronomy and history, the revelators directly acknowledge using only the highest human concepts and insights pertaining to God and the seven superuniverses (p. 17) and to the life and teachings of Jesus (p. 1343).
I was thus quite surprised, initially, at the extent to which the revelators culled from books which do not focus on these areas. But, regardless of the lack of specific acknowledgment, it is clear that many more human sources in varous fields will eventually be traced. I estimate that writings published before 1935 form the basis of at least 75% of Part III, and most of these works will probably be found within the next few years. Eventually, we will be able to map out the Urantia Papers according to which parts were "revealed for the first time" and which were not. And again, this will not be too difficult since the revelators, while avoiding extensive word-for-word borrowings, made no attempt to disguise their sources by departing widely from the original human expressions.
Clearly, these findings are of fundamental importance to serious students of the Urantia Papers, sparking new questions and insights into what this revelation really is and how human and superhuman voices and viewpoints interfaced in its production. As we gain a better grasp of how original it is, or how derivative, we will be better able to see how the revelation positions itself with regard to evolutionary human knowledge, wisdom and faith. We will also be better prepared to grapple with the perplexing questions of the nature and extent of the book's authority, applicability and accessibility in the decades and centuries to come -- questions such as: What bearing does the book's being written in 1934-35 have on its future relevance and immediacy? What does it mean that, "this book is intended for the coming age," when so much of it directly addresses and responds to the thought trends and world situation of the early 20th century -- no longer our own, much less that of later generations? (Of course, the revelators themselves broach these questions somewhat in "The Limitations of Revelation" and elsewhere).
These initial findings have already convinced me of two things. First, while no longer equating "revelation" with complete superhuman originality, I have no doubt that the Urantia Papers were superhumanly "indited". Each of the books below was deftly and creatively used so as to seamlessly integrate human observation with revelatory supplementation or correction. Thus, to give just one example, the adjutant mind spirits of worship and wisdom are incorporated into "The Origins of Worship" paper, a paper which is very largely derived from "Origin and Evolution of Religion" (see below), whose author held to a wholly natural motivation of the worship urge.
Second, rather than being an embarrassment to the Urantia Paper's credibility as a revelation, these humanly authored books are of great help in the understanding of the Papers which use them. Often the revelators are obliged to present an abbreviated treatment of a concept or a history which is discussed at greater length by the human source. For instance, my understanding of the book's puzzling reference to "cosmic self-maintenance" (p. 482) was greatly enhanced when I came upon this concept presented at length in the Noble book (see below). In light of these benefits to comprehension, both as to content and context, I feel it would be helpful for the readership to be made aware of these sources and perhaps some of these books with expired copyrights could be re- published. Further, as an organization dedicated to furthering the study of the Urantia Papers, the Fellowship would do well to openly acknowledge the existence of these works in some way, perhaps even in our informational materials about the Urantia Papers. We should be aware, as well, that a confident and well-reasoned acknowledgement would disarm debunkers of the Martin Gardner ilk who hold the notion that revelation always and necessarliy means, to its gulled believers, complete superhuman inspiration.
In the coming months, I intend to analyze some of these books at greater length, detailing the often ingenious ways the revelators make use of them. One of my goals in each of the essays will be to show how and to what extent the superhuman presenters supplemented the human statements with revelatory information or insights. I will also address the general question of context and applicability; for instance, how does an improved contextual understanding of the book's teachings on race and eugenics (obtained by the knowledge that much of these teachings are based directly on human writings reflecting the attitudes and reference frames of certain members of the all-white academic elite of the early 20th century) help us to determine relevance and applicability to today's situation?
In the meantime, I and other readers will continue to be on the lookout for more human sources. If anyone knows of books not included in this list, I'd be very grateful to hear from you. If anyone has any questions about these books or this project, please feel free to contact me.
Editor's note: Matthew can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Book List
- Aston, W.G., "Shinto; The Way of the Gods" (New York: Longmans, Green and Co., 1905).
- Paper 131, "The World's Religions," section 7. Sentences from Aston's translation of the "Wa Rongo" collection of Shinto Oracles, lightly rewritten or paraphrased, constitute the entire selection of Ganid's abstract of Shinto.
- Bishop, William Samuel, "The Theology of Personality" (New York: Longmans, Green and Co., 1926).
- Foreword, section XII; Paper 106, "Universe Levels of Reality," section 8. Though there appears to be no superhuman lifting of content here, Bishop uses the terms "trinity," "triunity," and - amazingly - "A Trinity of Trinities" in the expositon of his constructive theology. These terms are completely reworked in the UB.
- Breasted, James Henry, "The Dawn of Conscience" (New York: Charles Scribners Sons, 1933).
- Paper 95, "The Melchizedek Teachings in the Levant," sections 2-5; Paper 111, "The Adjuster and the Soul," preamble. Breasted's analysis and assessments of early Egyptian social idealism and religion -- including the teaching of Ikhnaton, the ka and the ba, Egypt's influence on the Hebrews, etc. -- are incorporated into the UB's corresponding discussions.
- Bundy, Walter E., "The Religion of Jesus" (Indianapolis: The Bobbs Merrill Company, 1928).
- Paper 196, "The Faith of Jesus," preamble, sections 1-2, etc. Portions from every chapter of this book, whose thesis is that the human Jesus founded the religion of personal experience and that we must recover the religion of Jesus from the religion about Jesus are deftly concentrated in Paper 196, with the retention of many of Bundy's exact wordings.
- Bundy, Walter E., "The Recovery of Jesus" (Indianapolis: The Bobbs- Merrill Company, 1929).
- Paper 196, "The Faith of Jesus," preamble and sections 1-2. A companion volume to the preceding book, this one has material which parallels paragraphs in Paper 196 which were not paralleled by the preceding book. The two books together supply about 95% of the basis of the preamble and the first two sections. The last section differs in tone and content and may be original with the midwayers.
- Burton, Ernest DeWitt and Mathews, Shailer, "The Life of Christ" (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1927).
- Part IV, passim. The content of this book does not appear to be used but rather its chapter and section titles. Parallel titles include: "The Crisis at Capernaum," "Discourse on Spiritual Freedom," "The Widespread Fame of Jesus [Christ]," "The Man with the Withered Hand," "The Woman Taken in Adultery," and "[More] Parables by the Sea."
- Carus, Paul, "The Canon of Reason and Virtue: Being Lao-tze's Tao Teh King" (LaSalle, Il: The Open Court Publishing Co., 1927).
- Paper 94, "The Melchizedek Teachings in the Orient," section 6; Paper 131, "The World's Religions," section 8. This translation of the Tao te Ching was used by the revelators in the references to Taoism in Parts I, III and IV.
- Cowdry, E.V., (ed), "Human Biology & Racial Welfare" (New York: Paul B. Hoeber, Inc., 1930).
- Paper 51 on Planetary Adams, section 4; Paper 65, "The Overcontrol of Evolution," section 2; Paper 82, "The Evolution of Marriage," section 6; etc. The revelators use essays by Hrdlicka, Conklin and Davenport in their discussions of race differences, the dangers and benefits of race mixing, and the feasibility of a modest eugenics program.
- Edwards, Tyron, (compiler), "The New Dictionary of Thoughts" (New York: Classic Publishing Co., 1934).
- Paper 48, "The Morontia Life," section 7. The vast majority of the 28 "statements of human philosophy" in the Morontia Mota section are taken directly and consecutively from the first 50 pages of this 750-page book, which is arranged alphabetically by subject. The subjects from which the revelators cull quotations include: Ability, Accident, Adversity, Affectation, Affliction, Anger, Anxiety, Art, Aspiration, etc. These quotes are usually not reproduced verbatim in the Papers, but are recast so as to have a more cosmic and spiritual tone.
- Fosdick, Harry, "The Hope of the World" (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1933).
- Paper 171, "On the Way to Jerusalem," section 7. "Goodness is effective only when it is attractive," on p. 1874, is the essence of Fosdick's sermon, "The Fine Art of Making Goodness Attractive."
- Frost Jr., S.E., (ed), "The Sacred Writings of the World's Great Religions" (New York: The New Home Library, 1943).
- Paper 131, "The World's Religions." This book is a selection from previous -- and unfortunately, uncited -- translations of various holy books. The UB appears to use this book's Jain and Shinto translations -- and selections -- in its "abstract of Ganid's manuscript" dealing with these religions.
- Hartshorne, Charles, "Man's Vision of God" (Chicago: Willet, Clark and Co., 1941).
- Foreword, section I. Harshortne's list of the seven conceivable types of perfection is reproduced verbatim on p. 3 of the UB. I suspect that Hartshorne published an earlier (pre-1935) presentation of this system in a journal, so it was probably already in print before the Foreword was written.
- Hopkins, E. Washburn, "Origin and Evolution of Religion" (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1923).
- The whole of Paper 85, "The Origin of Worship," is taken directly and consecutively from the first eight chapters of this book, each section in the paper corresponding to a chapter in the book. Paper 92, "The Later Evolution of Religion," incorporates some of Hopkins' comments and ethnologic observation; the preamble and section 1 of Paper 104, "Growth of the Trinity Concept," are taken directly from Hopkins' chapters on "The Triad," "The Hindu Trinity," "The Buddhistic Trinity" and "The Christian Trinity."
- Jones, Rufus M., "A Preface to Christian Faith in a New Age" (New York: Macmillan Co., 1932).
- Paper 195, "After Pentecost," sections 5-10. Every chapter of the book is used in the revelators' discussions of Christianity's struggle to awaken to its spiritual mission in the face of modern secularism and its own institutional shortcomings. Virtually every paragraph of Section 10, "The Future," is drawn consecutively from the last half of this book.
- Jones, Rufus M., "The Inner Life" (New York: Macmillan Co., 1916).
- Paper 102, "The Foundations of Religious Faith," preamble. Jones quotes the same two extracts of Bertrand Russell's "A Free Man's Worship" (1906?) which the Melchizedek prarphrases in the first two paragraphs of the paper. Both Jones and the Melchizedek use these passages to illustrate materialistic despair, which can only be remedied by faith in God and a spiritual interpretation of the universe.
- Noble, Edmund, "Purposive Evolution: The Link Between Science and Religion" (New York: Henry Hold and Co., 1926).
- Paper 42, "Energy -- Mind and Matter," section 11; Paper 116, "The Almighty Supreme," section 7. Nobels's theory of cosmic self- maintenance (the universe as purposive) is referred to in the UB on p. 482; his chapter, "Is the Universe an Organism?" (in which he gives a negative answer) seems to be responded to by the revelators on p. 1276-77, "The Living Organism of the Grand Universe."
- Osborn, Henry Fairfield, "Man Rises to Parnassus: Critical Epochs in the Prehistory of Man" (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1928).
- Paper 64, "The Evolutionary Races of Color," sections 2, 4; Paper 80, "Andite Expansion in the Occident," sections 3, 8, 9: etc. This book seems to be the prime source for the UB's discussion of successive human races in Europe from the Foxhall peoples to the Neanderthals, the Cro-Magnons and the ancestors of the Nordics. The UB largely adheres to Osborn's geological, racial and cultural chronologies and to his characterizations of the cultures of these various peoples. Osborn's discussion of the Bretons is paralleled exactly on p. 899 of the UB.
- Palmer, George Herbert, "The Autobiography of a Philosopher" (New York: Greenwood Press, 1930, reprint).
- Paper 181, "Final Admonitions and Warnings," section 1. Palmer's assertion of the superiority of the inner peace resulting from faith in the Father's loving care, over the "two inferior forms of hardihood" (optimism and stoicism), is paralleled in the UB's discussion on pgs. 1954-55.
- Sabatier, Auguste, "Religions of Authority and the Religion of the Spirit" (New York: McClure, Phillips & Co., 1904).
- Paper 155, "Fleeing Through Northern Galilee," sections 5 & 6. The sections in the Urantia Papers on the discourses on true religion which distinguish the religions of authority from the religion of the spirit are an amplification of Sabatier's thesis. The Papers' listing of the "three manifestations of the religious urge" on p. 1728 correspond to Sabatier's "Three Degrees of Religious Evolution." Sabatier's book was quite influential; both Rufus Jones and Walter Bundy, among others, refer to the religions of authority and the religion of the spirit, attributing the origin of the latter to Jesus, as does Sabatier.
- Swann, W.F.G., "The Architecture of the Universe" (New York: The Macmillan Co., 1934).
- Paper 41, "Physical Aspects of the Local Universe," Paper 42, "Energy -- Mind and Matter," passim. Swann's opening chapter on "The Dogmas of Natural Philosophy," is reproduced with little change in section 9, ("Natural Philosophy") of "Energy -- Mind and Matter." Many of his temperature, size and distance estimates relating to intra-atomic and astronomic bodies are used in the Papers, as are several of his analogies and illustrations (e.g., if the volume of a proton should be magnified to the size of a head of a pin, then, in comparison, a pin's head would attain a diameter equal to that of the earth's orbit around the sun.)
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