The Making of a Quaker Atheist

Copyright © George Amoss, Jr., 1999All rights reserved. How did I come to be a Quaker and an atheist? I was raised as neither; my early life was filled with faith in God and a fascination with the Catholic priesthood and “the religious life”–life under vows in an order of friars or monks. It was […]

Walt Whitman of the New York “Aurora:” Editor, Transcendentalist, Quaker, Perfectionist

Mitchell Santine Gould Or rather, to be quite exact, a desire…had been flitting through my previous life Walt Whitman,“A Backwards Glance O’er Travel’d Roads” Although an origin story has always naturally been part of the biographer’s bread and butter, the field lacks its own term for this, and so we must borrow the notion of […]

Encounters from Beyond Quakerism, Belief in Extraterrestrials And the Boundaries of Liberal Religion

Isaac May Readers of Friends Journal, the leading periodical of liberal Quakerism, would have been surprised in early 1994 to see a small ad placed in the classifieds section in the back of the magazine. Amidst blurbs for Quaker-related Bed and Breakfasts, a promotion for the environmentalist Friends Committee for Unity with Nature, a job posting […]

Quaker Theology is not Explained by Apocalyptic Expectation and Delay

BY HUGH ROC Introduction Douglas Gwyn’s thesis (Gwyn, 1986) that Quaker theology originates in imminent apocalyptic expectation has achieved a degree of influence. In its own right, Gwyn’s work stands as an expression of passionate personal conviction. Gwyn makes an empathetic bridge across the generations to relate his own sense of portentous times in the […]

“Quakers & Homosexuality Press Statement,” from Friends Church Kenya

Friends Church Kenya-vs-Homosexuals-Text-and-Responses-Quaker-Theology-Number-23In This Section: “Quakers & Homosexuality Press Statement,” from Friends Church Kenya Background & Context: Homosexuality, Law, Religion & Violence In Africa Today, by The Editors Responses to the FCK Statement:Pablo StanfieldCindy PerryRich LiversidgeDoug BennettMary HeathmanGeoffrey Kaiser Epistle to the 2012 World Conference of Friends, held in Kenya, from Friends for Lesbian, Gay, […]

William Bartram: The Moral Philosophy of a Quaker Botanist

Sarah Werner William Bartram (1739-1823) was one of the first scientists to explore the southern colonies of the United States in the 18th century. He is best known for his widely popular account of his journey, Travels Through North and South Carolina, Georgia, East and West Florida, the Cherokee Country, the Extensive Territories of the […]

“Godless For God’s Sake: Nontheism In Contemporary Quakerism”* — A Review

What have we come to in Friends religious thought, when the most exciting book of Quaker theology I’ve read in years is produced by a bunch of Quaker non-theists–twenty-seven in all?

A Quaker in a Material World: A Materialist Perspective

Osborn Cresson I am a Quaker and a materialist. That is, the only reality I know is the physical world of cause and effect, and yet Quakers and their practices are fundamental to my life. People are surprised by this combination of the secular and the Quaker. They ask, can materialism lead to a moral […]

An Exchange: Quaker Theology Without God?

By Edward James. A Response to: “The Making of a Quaker Atheist,” by George Amoss, Jr., in Quaker Theology #1. (Amoss’s comments follow.) Mother Angelica of the Eternal Word TV Network likes to describe those Catholic churches which have abandoned or modified their sacred traditions to be more in tune with the modern world as “electric churches”: […]

Editor’s Introduction, #33

By Chuck Fager Twenty years and 32 issues ago, we asked “What is theology, and why should Friends be interested in it?” Good questions. Here’s a true story that happened since, and offers one answer: Several years ago I visited a “Quaker” school in the South, supposedly to talk about peace. The school was expensive, […]

About The Contributors, #15

George Amoss Jr., a member of Homewood Meeting in Baltimore, attends Little Falls Friends Meeting in Fallston, Maryland. A social worker and psychotherapist, he has served as editor of Universalist Friends, the journal of the Quaker Universalist Fellowship, and he established the Quaker Electronic Archive Web site at http://www.quakerarchive.org. His earlier essay for Quaker Theology, […]

Editors’ Introduction, #10

By Chuck Fager & Ann Riggs The theological history of American liberal Quakerism has not been examined in any comprehensive way; it has been terra incognita to those both within and without its fold. But in recent years several researchers, including your Editor, have been at work making forays into this unknown territory and bringing […]

From “The Church, the Draft Board, and Me” by George Amoss, Jr.

This recounts my conflicts with the Catholic Church, whose ethics were called into question by the war in Vietnam, and the U.S. Selective Service System, which refused to honor my conscientious objection to participation in war. In telling that story, it sketches my evolution, despite encounters with predatory priests and a vindictive draft board, from youthful candidate for the Catholic priesthood to adult a-theistic Quaker who still asserts that “God is love.”

Narrative Theology: The Land

Ken Bradstock On the Appalachian Plateau in Southwestern Pennsylvania, a farm lies fallow from decades of disuse. The fine old Pennsylvania bank barn has collapsed toward the silo. The roof is lying on the wooden ruins and they, in turn, have buckled and fainted onto the stonework foundation. The pastures and crop fields all across […]

A Review, “Personality and Place, the Life & Times of Pendle Hill”

Reviewed by Chuck Fager “Sometimes I look around and think, Pendle Hill is God’s little joke on the Society of Friends.” – Janet Shepherd, former Dean NOTE: From one perspective, it’s a conflict of interest for me to review this book. After all, I’m described in it, because I was on staff at Pendle Hill […]

Collected Essays of Maurice Creasey, A Review

Reviewed by Chuck Fager The Swarthmore Lecture is the prestige gig for Britain Yearly Meeting. It’s been given every year for more than a century, since 1908. Every year, that is, except 1948, when it was abruptly cancelled. It seems a Swiss Friend named Edmond Privat had been tapped, and it was learned that he […]

The Darkness of Mother Teresa, Two Reviews*

by George Amoss Jr. “Eternity,” wrote William Blake, “is in love with the productions of time.” A Roman Catholic – especially one who was formed in the pre-conciliar Church of the early twentieth century, as was Mother Teresa – would surely agree with that, but she would not stop there.  The Catholic sees time sub […]

Howard Brinton and the World Council of Churches: The Theological Impact of Ecumenism on Friends

by Anthony Manousos The ecumenical movement that culminated in the founding of the World Council of Churches in 1948 was a wake up call to Howard Brinton and other Friends, obliging them to take more seriously the theological issues of their day. Up to this point, most of Brinton’s writings about theology focused on Quaker […]

In Search of Religious Radicalism

By Charley Earp 1. The Radicalization of a Preacher’s Kid A Long Strange Trip At the very core of my being, I have undergone an earth-shaking religious transition in the past few years. Less than nine years ago, I was a passionately committed Bible-believing Christian. Not that I was a conventional evangelical by any stretch […]