Playing Soccer With Buddha

Playing Soccer with Buddha, by Drew Kennedy

Playing Soccer with Buddha:
Unapologetically Progressive Views

from 25 Years
in the Pulpit
by Drew Kennedy

Crispin Books • May 4, 2014
Trade Softcover • 286 pages  • 6″ x 9″
Essays / Spirituality & Religion
/ Unitarian Universalism
$19.95 • ISBN 978-1-883953-68-3

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Spiritual Growth • Social Justice

Global Warming • Economic Equality

UU history (Unitarian Universalism)

Comparative Religions & Diverse
Views of God (Western, Eastern,
Mysticism, Agnosticism, Humanism, etc.)


Spirit of Life • Our Cosmological Place in the Universe • Having Faith in Doubt • The Virgin Birth, and How Jesus Became God • Rewriting History and the Faith of Our Founders • Western Views of God • Eastern Views of God • Atheism & Existentialism • Mysticism • Agnosticism & Humanism • The Market Is Not God • Drones & the War on Terror

(See below for a full Table of Contents.)


Playing Soccer with Buddha offers a series of thought-provoking reflections on topics from spiritual growth to social justice, from diverse views of God to an exploration of the long, rich heritage of Unitarian Universalism.

In these penetrating, far-reaching essays, every reader will find both touchstones for their beliefs and challenges to their convictions, encouraging us all to look clearly, think deeply, and embrace a passionate spirit of life.

Categories include:
• Growing Our Souls
• Rethinking Religion & Spirituality
• Diverse Views of God
• Social Justice Issues
• Unitarian Universalism Heritage

The pieces were first delivered from the pulpit by the author during his tenure as senior minister at the First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee, 1986–2014.


The Rev. Andrew Kennedy has been active in a wide array of progressive causes and was twice arrested for civil disobedience. He served as minister of the First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee for 28 years, tripling the size of the downtown congregation and inspiring a legacy of social justice involvement and community outreach. He will retire from that post in June 2014 and plans to devote his time to visiting his family (including two sons and several grandchildren), reading all those other books on his long to-read list, and playing more soccer and billiards.

For queries about speaking engagements, contact Drew Kennedy via our Crickhollow/Crispin Books contact form.


Section I: Growing Our Souls

Spirit of Life • 17
Things Seen and Unseen • 24
Emptiness as a Way • 32
When Hearts Break • 41
The Importance of the Holy Grail • 52
Our Cosmological Place in the Universe • 62

Section II
: Rethinking Religion & Spirituality

Having Faith in Doubt • 73
Who Was Jesus, and Was He a Christian? • 82
The Virgin Birth, and How Jesus Became God • 91
Rewriting History and the Faith of Our Founders • 100
Playing Soccer with Buddha 
in the Kingdom of God • 113

Section III: What About God?

What Do You Believe About God? • 125
Western Views of God • 127
Eastern Views of God • 137
Transcendentalism • 147
Atheism and Existentialism • 157
Mysticism • 168
Agnosticism and Humanism • 180
What I Believe •  189
What Do You Believe about God? (A Survey Document) •

Section IV: Serving the World

The Market Is Not God • 205
Martin Luther King, Jr. and Thich Nhat Hanh • 216
Drones and the War on Terror • 228
Before the Deluge and the Scary Math • 237

Section V
: What Is Unitarian Universalism?

Betting Our Spiritual Lives on Freedom • 249
Betting Our Spiritual Lives on Love • 259
The First Church Story • 269
Closing Words • 279