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Richard F. Boeke Collection
GTU 98-2-03  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography / Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms
  • Separated Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Richard F. Boeke collection
    Dates: 1957-1994
    Collection number: GTU 98-2-03
    Creator: Boeke, Richard
    Collection Size: 4.5 linear feet (5 record cartons)
    Repository: The Graduate Theological Union. Library.
    Berkeley, CA 94709
    Abstract: Richard F. Boeke served as minister of the First Unitarian Church of Berkeley, California, 1973-1995. During his ministry, he was involved in the Howard Thurman Educational Trust, the International Association for Religious Freedom, and the Uniquest Foundation, among other groups and organizations.
    Physical location: 5/J/6, 5/K/6
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to The Graduate Theological Union. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Graduate Theological Union as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    Richard F. Boeke collection, GTU 98-2-03. Graduate Theological Union Archives, Berkeley, CA.

    Acquisition Information

    The collection was donated by Richard Boeke in February 1998.

    Biography / Administrative History

    Richard F. Boeke was born and raised in Atlanta. After attending Georgia Tech for two years, he transferred and completed his degree at Iowa State University, graduating in 1951. He received his Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School in 1954, M.A. from Columbia University in 1971, and a Doctor of Ministry from the Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, CA, in 1982. He was ordained in the Unitarian-Universalist Church in 1955, the same year he entered the U.S. Air Force as a Chaplain. Following this service, he served churches in Flushing, New York; Chico, California; Reno, Nevada, and St. Petersburg, Florida. He accepted the call to First Unitarian Church of Berkeley in 1973, where he remained until 1995.
    As of August 2013, he lives in Horsham, West Sussex, UK. He served as minister of the Unitarian Church there and is founding Moderator of the Horsham Interfaith Forum. He is Co-Chair of the Peace Commission of the International Association for Religious Freedom (IARF), a UK organization that promotes freedom of religion and belief at a global level.
    Boeke helped found the North American chapter of the IARF. He was a member of the board of trustees for the Howard Thurman Trust. He participated with Viktor Frankl in events sponsored by the Berkeley Unitarian-Universalist Church on logotherapy. He was a founding member of the Partner Church Council, created in 1993 to coordinate Unitarian Universalist Churches around the world after the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe. Boeke has served as secretary for the World Congress of Faiths, which works to develop better understanding, co-operation and respect between people of different faiths.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    This collection represents Richard Boeke's work with the churches and other religious organizations with which he was involved between the years 1963 and 1994. The extent to which these organizations are represented in the collection varies. It contains Boeke's dissertation on Pistiology (Pacific School of Religion, 1982) and other papers, some of his published writings (various years), sermons (undated), poetry, handwritten journals (1988 and 1990 respectively), handwritten notes, a few of his illustrations, and First Unitarian Church of Berkeley correspondence from the years 1973 through 1975. Other materials include several small publications, usually relating in some way to religion and some with Boeke's writings, and various pamphlets and brochures.


    The collection is divided into five series: 1. Boeke's Writings; 2. Church Correspondence; 3. Subject Files; 4. Groups and Organizations; and 5. Audio-visual Materials.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    Boeke, Richard.
    Frankl, Viktor E. (Viktor Emil), 1905-1997
    First Unitarian Church (Berkeley, Calif.).
    Howard Thurman Educational Trust.
    International Association for Religious Freedom.
    Uniquest Foundation.
    Unitarian Universalist churches--California--Berkeley--Clergy.
    Religious pluralism--20th century.
    Dialogue--Religious aspects.

    Separated Material

    Basic Terms of Shinto: Revised Edition.Tokyo, Japan: Kokugakuin University, Institute for Japanese Culture and Classics, 1985. Transferred to GTU Library circulating collection. Call Number: BL2216.1 I5 1985.
    Kyoden: Extracts from the Threefold Lotus Sutra. Tokyo, Japan: Rissho Kosei-Kai, 1979. Transferred to GTU Library Rare Books. Call Number: BQ2052.E5 K96 1979.
    Maududi, Sayyid Abul A'la, Toward Understanding Islam. Delhi, India: Markazi Maktaba Islami, 17th edition 1993. Page tipped in to front of book: "Welcome to delegates of International Association of Religious Freedom, Sarvadharma Sammelan 19th Aug to 22nd Aug, 1993 at Bangalore". Transferred to GTU Library Rare Books. Call Number: BP161 M4813 1993.