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10 - The peculiar sleep: receiving The Urantia Book

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 September 2009

Sarah Lewis
Affiliation:
Lecturer in Religious Studies University of Wales Lampeter
James R. Lewis
Affiliation:
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Olav Hammer
Affiliation:
University of Southern Denmark
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Summary

I am utterly convinced that, circa 1906–1955, non-material beings of super-human intelligence and maturity interfaced regularly with a group of (eventually) six mortals for the purpose of providing a religious revelation of epochal significance.

The Urantia Papers, later published as The Urantia Book, were received by a small group of people in Chicago through an unnamed person, known as the “sleeping subject” or “contact personality,” distinguished by his “peculiar sleep.”

The way the Urantia revelation is said to have emerged is quite unlike that found within most other traditions. There is no belief that the message is a reemergence of a previously lost tradition, nor is there any claim that the material emerged from any great figure from history. Instead, The Urantia Book is claimed to have been divulged by higher beings, through a human being, through an unknown method, and relatively recently.

All that is told of the person chosen by the “student visitors” or “celestial beings” to be the “vehicle” through which these revelations would emerge is that it was a male patient of Dr. William Sadler (a psychiatrist and former Seventh-Day Adventist), and those who witnessed the events insist that the “sleeping subject” was not a medium, nor did he “channel” or “automatically write” the Urantia Papers. There is a great desire to present as innovative not just the content of the Papers but also the way in which they were received.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2007

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References

Bowman, “More of the Same? Christianity, Vernacular Religion and Alternative Spirituality in Glastonbury,” in Sutcliffe, Steven and Bowman, Marion (eds.), Beyond New Age (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2000), pp. 83–104.Google Scholar
Bradley, David, An Introduction to the Urantia Revelation (Arcata, CA: White Egret Publications, 1998).Google Scholar
Gardner, Martin, On the Wild Side (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1992).Google Scholar
Gardner, Martin, Urantia (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1995).Google Scholar
Glasziou, Ken, Science, Anthropology and Archaeology in The Urantia Book, Part 3, “Who Wrote the Urantia Papers?”, available at <www.urantiabook.org/archive/readers/doc183.htm> (accessed February 4, 2006).
Lewis, Sarah, “The Urantia Book,” in Partridge, C. (ed.), UFO Religions (London, Routledge, 2003), pp. 129–98.Google Scholar
Ministerial Association General Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists, Seventh-Day Adventists Believe … A Biblical Exposition of 27 Fundamental Doctrines (Hagerstown, MD: The Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1988).
Moyer, Ernest P., The Birth of a Divine Revelation (Hanover: Moyer Publishing, 2000).Google Scholar
Moyer, Ernest P., Spirit Entry into Human Mind (Hanover: Moyer Publishing, 2000).Google Scholar
Mullins, Larry, A History of the Urantia Papers (Boulder, CO: Penumbra Press, 2000).Google Scholar
Sadler, William, A History of the Urantia Movement, available at <www.urantia.org/pub/ahotum.html> (accessed July 26, 2005).
Sadler, William,The Mind at Mischief: Tricks and Deceptions of the Subconscious and How to Cope with Them (New York: Funk & Wagnals, 1929), available at <www.ubfellowship.org/archive/history/m_at_m.htm>.
Sherman, Harold, How to Know What to Believe (New York: Fawcett, 1976).Google Scholar
The Urantia Book (Chicago, IL: Uversa Press, 1996; first published 1955).
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