Beyond Liberalism: Rufus Jones and Thomas Kelly in the History of Liberal Religion

Guy Aiken

It was Monday, December 19, 1938, a little over a month since the Day of Broken Glass, and three American Quakers were holding impromptu worship in Berlin. They were in the headquarters of the Gestapo, and two Gestapo officers had just left the room to discuss with their superior the Quakers’ proposal to help expedite the emigration of Germany’s Jews.

Left to wait, the three Quakers “bowed our heads and entered upon a time of deep quiet meditation and prayer – the only Quaker meeting ever held in the Gestapo,” the leader of the group, Rufus Jones, later wrote. “It proved to have been rightly ordered.” The two Gestapo soon walked back in and granted everything the Quaker delegation had asked for. Jones wanted the agreement in writing. The two officers declined. “What will be the evidence then?” “Every word that has been spoken in this room has been recorded by a mechanism and this decision will be in the record.”

Jones was now doubly glad for “the period of hush and quiet” he and his two friends had kept. The three Americans were told the Gestapo would telegraph that night to every police station in Germany “that the Quakers are given full permission to investigate the sufferings of Jews and to bring such relief as they see necessary.” Three days later the three Quakers left for America having effectively saved the lives of a few Jewish families who were able to leave Germany before the war began. 1)

The summer before this dramatic winter episode, another American Quaker had traveled to Germany, to visit with German Friends and make a report of their sufferings. Thomas Kelly went from house to house, living with Quaker families so he could get to know their hardships – in good Quaker fashion – firsthand. While he was in Germany, he gave the annual lecture at the German Yearly Meeting, in which he said that the “true ground of social endeavor” was the “experience of the Eternal breaking into time, which transforms all life into a miracle of faith and action.”(2) – 

Rufus Jones and Thomas Kelly working to ease the suffering in Germany on the cusp of World War II – here was “ethical mysticism” in articulate action. As American religious historian Leigh Eric Schmidt points out in his article on the “Making of Modern ‘Mysticism’,” the Protestant mystics of the first half of the twentieth century “were adamant about the inseparability of mysticism and political activism.” Jones and Kelly were just as adamant on this point as their Protestant counterparts. Yet because they were Quakers who worshiped in expectant silence and who were steeped in the writings of Quaker mystics like George Fox, Isaac Penington, and John Woolman, they hewed to a middle way between Protestant activism and Catholic contemplation. And so, unlike Washington Gladden, Walter Rauschenbusch, and other social-gospelers, they found their thoughts turning almost entirely to mysticism and the interior life when they took up the pen.

Contemporary scholars Gary Dorrien and Leigh Eric Schmidt have written expansive surveys of liberal theology and spirituality that, because they are so wide in scope, understandably rely more on published sources than on deep archival research. This necessary limitation, however, might obscure the strong and often tortured link intense devotionalists like Jones and Kelly forged between the inner life and the outer world. To get at this nexus of ethics and mysticism, the historian I think needs to read these two Quakers’ published work alongside and in dialogue with their unpublished letters, sermons, and other ephemera. Only then might “the current desire to reconnect Christian spiritual practices and social justice” find its historical ground and most eloquent source in the lives and writings of these two dead, white, Quaker men.(3)

Dorrien and Schmidt have trained their historical sights on Jones and Kelly only recently, in the past decade. In his second installment of his three-volume survey, The Making of American Liberal Theology (2003), Dorrien devotes a short section to Rufus Jones’s Christology and mysticism. In Restless Souls (2005), Schmidt spends a good chunk of his chapter on “seekers” crediting Jones with popularizing the term and Kelly with exemplifying it. Both of these scholars’ treatments, being parts of much larger works, are necessarily limited in scope and so have holes and elisions that beg for filling and articulation. They thus open the doors of American religious historiography to these two remarkable Quakers, while also providing fodder for debate over Jones and Kelly’s significance.

Jones and Kelly, though anchored in religious liberalism, moved beyond liberalism each in his own way. American cultural historian Matthew Hedstrom has defined religious liberalism as, at its most basic, Protestants’ “theological accommodation of scientific and humanistic scholarship, and overarching focus on ethics tied to optimistic postmillennialism.”(4) (That is,their focus shifted to making a kingdom of God on earth, largely through human effort, especially social reform.) Insomuch as this agenda was negatively a rejection of anti-modernism, conservative evangelicalism, and premillenialism, Jones and Kelly were religious liberals (Jones more comfortably so than Kelly). Yet Jones’s radical pacifism put him outside the liberal mainstream, and Kelly’s own experience of self-abnegation led him to call on his audience to surrender their claim to natural rights. Before assessing Jones and Kelly’s radicalism, though, Dorrien’s and Schmidt’s analyses of their religious liberalism need a closer look.

Jones and Jesus

After graduating from college, where he had fallen in love with the writings of Emerson and Thomas Carlyle, Rufus Jones traveled to Europe and spent a year in Germany and France studying philosophy and mysticism. While walking in a French wood, Jones had a vision.

I saw stretch before me an unfolding of labor in the realm of mystical religion, almost as clearly as Francis heard himself called at St. Damiens to “repair the Church.” I remember kneeling down alone in a beautiful forest glade and dedicating myself then and there in the quiet and silence, but in the presence of an invading Life, to the work of interpreting the deeper nature of the soul and its relation to God.(5)

This mystical calling to “mystical religion” fortified Jones in his stand against any sharp dualism between God and humanity, any strict separation of sect or denomination, and any unbridgeable chasm between Christ and the individual Christian.

Jones’s conception of God was orthodox when compared with his understanding of Christ.(6) Gary Dorrien overstates the case: “[Jones] could be quoted either way on the question whether Quakerism should be Christian.” Jones did not subordinate historical Christianity to mystical Quakerism. Early in his publishing career, in 1904, he wrote that “faith” was “an actual appropriation of the Divine Life” and that it “produces a religion as first-hand as [mysticism].” Five years later he elaborated, “To insist on mystical experience as the only path to religion would invoke an ‘election’ no less inscrutable and pitiless than that of the Calvinistic system – an election settled for each person by the peculiar psychic structure of his inner self.”(7) Jones retained Christ as the paradigm of human being and cleaved to Christianity as the faith that embodied God’s historical revelation in Christ, as well as in Christians down through the centuries.

Yet Jones’s decidedly theocentric Christianity might very well have “opened the door to a religion of spirit that dispensed with [any] confession” about Christ, as Dorrien charges. And according to one of his most recent critics, Carole Spencer, his high anthropology

took Christ out of the Light, the soul itself was the Light, and the soul became divine. Thus Jones created an– inner light mysticism’ in which the soul was its own authority, an elevated humanism which severed the inward light from Christ. Consequently, liberal Quakerism developed a humanistic confidence in the soul as supreme.

While this judgment might rightly ascertain Jones’s fontal relationship to twentieth- and twenty-first-century liberal Quakerism, Spencer, unfairly to Jones, supports it with Jones’s enthusiastic quotation of the Upanishads at the end of one of his fifty-seven books: “When the sun is set, and the moon is set, and the fire is gone out, THE SOUL IS THE LIGHT OF MAN.” Jones himself never conceived of the human soul apart from God, though he proved willing and able to adjust his philosophical language to humanistic psychologies on occasion. For Jones, the soul could be the “light of man” only because “God as Spirit and man as spirit are inherently related and there is something in man which is unsundered (sic) from God.”(8) Jones at times might have attenuated this intrinsic bond between God and humanity, but he never “severed” it.

In fact, one could see Jones’s “pattern-type” theory of atonement and high anthropology as a liberal revision of “early Quaker holiness,” which, Spencer argues, “was closer to patristic concepts of deification than to Protestant Reformation soteriology.” Christ’s role in early Quaker perfection is often obscured by early Friends’ emphasis on the “light.” The “light,” George Fox’s associate James Nayler wrote, “which we witness in us, is sufficient to lead us out of darkness, bring into the fear of God, and to exercise a pure conscience before God and man in the power of Christ.” Jones, in an archaic mood, might have written this sentence himself, the phrase “power of Christ” being suggestively vague. The early Quakers’ Puritan and Baptist opponents never tired of charging the Quakers with blasphemously deifying all of fallen humanity by conflating the “light” in the conscience with the “natural” light of the conscience. “Every writer who entered into serious argument with the Quakers picked up this point,” notes the leading scholar of this early debate, Rosemary Moore.(9)

Though this critique of early Friends anticipates Spencer’s critique of Jones, the early Quaker riposte differs markedly from Jones’s anthropology. The early Quakers insisted that they clearly distinguished the conscience, which was “natural,” from “the light in the conscience,” which was “spiritual” and thus no part of human nature.(10) Natural and spiritual – human and divine – constituted a sharp dualism for early Friends. Jones, on the other hand, rejected this sharp dualism and elided the separation, and sometimes even the distinction, between human and divine. But perhaps where Jones meant elision some of his readers perceive elimination, and they cry out, not as the Puritans and Baptists once did (“blasphemy!”), but as Spencer does – “humanism”!

Jones’s optimism about human nature was not only theologically rigorous. It was also personally hard-won. Dorrien’s summary biography of Jones and his emphasis on Jones’s published work eclipse Jones’s personal tragedies like the loss of his first wife and son and his temporary bout of crippling depression, as well as his dogged pursuit of peace as head of the AFSC in a time of global conflagration.

This constricted look at Jones inadvertently lends credence to Reinhold Neibuhr’s opinion that Jones had nothing to teach modern Christians about the social meaning of their faith.(11) Jones, though relatively privileged, sacrificed his health continually as he taught a full load at Haverford, chaired the AFSC, lectured and preached all over the country, and worked for numerous ecumenical efforts, including his own Wider Quaker Fellowship, which he started when he was well into his sixties.

Jones was in his fifties when he helped found the AFSC, and he was 71 when he began his second stint as its chairman. This was no weak-kneed liberal. Two years after the horrors of WWII and just months before his death at 85, Jones wrote in his final book, “Religious faith which springs out of the vision of transcendent reality and an ultimate divine purpose not only stabilizes one’s life; it beautifies and consecrates it. It infuses a marching power.”(12) That a man of such vitality and devotion, and, at the same time, of such worldliness, could write with convinced optimism about humanity after a long life shot through with personal and global tragedy – such a man had (and has) something to teach modern Christians about the social meaning of their faith, as well as social activists about the possible religious meaning of their work.

“Seeking” with Jones and Kelly

Jones found the seed of Quakerism’s worldly mysticism in an unlikely place: among the Seekers of seventeenth-century England. Jones could work magic with his pen, and with one of his greatest sleights-of-hand he transformed the Seekers from a band of primitivists and separatists into a vanguard of wide-open spiritual adventurers. In Restless Souls Leigh Schmidt marvels at Jones’s literary legerdemain. Though “the Seekers would have made lousy seekers on Jones’s liberal religious terms,” the term “morphed in Jones’s hands into a general attitude, a searching and unsettled disposition that had relevance far beyond seventeenth-century England.”(13) Today even some evangelical churches seek to be “seeker friendly,” while those on the other end of the theological spectrum, as well as some “spiritual but not religious” folk, also embrace the “seeker” label. Yet the first notable “seeker” on Jones’s model, in Schmidt’s estimation, was Jones’s own student, Thomas Kelly.

I can find no major scholar after Glenn Hinson in 1978 who paid any attention to Kelly, though A Testament of Devotion came back into print with Harper’s in the early 1990s. No major scholar had ever presumed to historicize Kelly’s devotional work. With Restless Souls Schmidt sought to correct these oversights. “Devotional books and their admirers are always prone to minimizing cultural context,” he explains. What especially irks him is the mystics’ talk of “capital-P Presence,” which he thinks is a “theological ploy (or affirmation) designed to lift devotional books – and spirituality generally – above the limits of culture and history.” Presumably no experience or insight is entirely “above the limits of culture and history.”

This seems to be the prevailing assumption of much of the academy, so much so that religious studies giant Robert Orsi can simply state that “‘reality’ itself is a construct.” Orsi and Schmidt are “constructivists,” yet Schmidt’s subjects are themselves “essentialists.” Mystics like Jones and Kelly firmly believed that it was possible to have a pure or unmediated experience. Though the constructivist position has come to dominate scholarly studies of mysticism, Hindu scholar Richard King has recently highlighted some dissenting voices. The “essentialist” school lives on, with increasing sophistication. It is not merely a relic of religious liberalism. (14)

Yet regardless of the philosophical tenability of, say, Kelly’s Testament of Devotion, the historian’s first loyalty should be to the worldview of his or her subject. In Thank You, St. Jude (1996), for instance, Robert Orsi spends almost 200 pages sympathetically describing and analyzing the devotional lives of his subjects, Catholic women in mid-century Chicago. Only in the last chapter does he lay out his own constructivist position. Schmidt, however, does not give Kelly a similarly sympathetic hearing. Though ostensibly he brings in Kelly as the embodiment of Jones’s “seekers,” it seems he has an ulterior motive, namely, to deconstruct the essentialist position that invokes “Presence” to escape both history and biography. In Schmidt’s estimate, Kelly was “all too clearly a frail and flailing man of his time,” and his devotional work was tinctured with his life. “Repeatedly there are passages that sound differently, more sharply edged, when Kelly’s own recently relinquished aspirations are kept in mind.”(15) What is at stake in challenging Schmidt, then, is not just the historical memory of a man, but the ability of that man’s world-shaking experiences to endure the condescension of history.(16)

Kelly lost his father in 1897 when he was only four years old. While Schmidt makes nothing of this, Glenn Hinson does: “Thomas Kelly learned early the importance of responsibility and perhaps, like many others in similar circumstances, developed the drive which compelled him always to perform at the very highest level.”(17) Hinson here gives a plausible psychological explanation for Kelly’s “almost maniacal” ambition, to use Schmidt’s words, an explanation that tempers

Schmidt’s portrayal of Kelly as irrationally and selfishly driven. Recalling the years after his father’s death, Kelly wrote to his future wife, Lael Macy, in 1917,

I don’t know whether you realize that I have had very little home life, as you have had. You know how we have always been in school, or away from home, and Mother was not at home in the daytime either [she worked to support the family]. We never did have that wonderful atmosphere you have been brought up in, because we just couldn’t. You can’t imagine what a magic word HOME is.(18)

Certainly Kelly’s lack of stable home life growing up, as much as his academic acquisitiveness, later combined with the possible economic privations of the Depression to goad him on toward an ever-receding horizon of security.

Kelly acknowledged the burdens his ambition laid on his wife. After his year at Haverford under Rufus Jones, he taught at a preparatory school in New Market, Ontario, for two years, and then served the YMCA in England near the end of WWI. From there he wrote Lael of “the desire to get into a college. But that will be many years yet, and will require a great deal of money and more sacrifice on your part than I want you to make for me.”(19) Though conscious of the cost of his dream, Kelly doggedly pursued it. After a B.D. from Hartford in 1918, he taught at his alma mater, Wilmington College in Ohio, for two years. He then returned to Hartford for his Ph.D., after which he and Lael worked for the AFSC in Germany for fifteen months. After Germany, Kelly taught at Earlham for five years, during which his daughter Lois was born, then he took two years’ leave of absence to study under Alfred North Whitehead and Clarence I. Lewis at Harvard. He returned to Earlham for three years, taught a year in Hawaii, and then assumed a post at Haverford, where his son would be born and where Kelly would teach until he fell dead on his kitchen floor on January 17, 1941.

This constant movement could hardly have provided him or his family with stability. But as Kelly’s son and biographer, Richard, remembers, Kelly did not drag his wife with him; she followed him willingly. “Though she never fully shared his heights of intellectual ambition or religious vision, she faithfully supported and encouraged him throughout the years of struggle and sacrifice, and they shared a rich life of love and devotion.” When they set sail from Hawaii for the mainland in 1936, “She would have liked nothing better than to settle down in one spot to build a home for her family. But she loved her husband too much to hold him back in his restless search for satisfaction.” After Kelly’s renewal he traveled in the ministry to Germany over the summer of 1938. From there he wrote his wife “of being laid hold on by a gentle, loving, but awful Power”: “it takes away the old self-seeking, self-centered self, from which selfishness I have laid heavy burdens on you, dear one.”(20) Kelly owned his selfishness. He did not excuse or justify it. Schmidt gives no hint of this, of Kelly’s self-awareness and self-judgment.

Schmidt also gives no hint of Kelly’s dedication to his family. His daughter Lois remembers, “Thomas Kelly cared deeply and primarily for his home .He endeavored to give to us all possible happiness, variety of experience and real friendship. If, in those last years, any shred of worldliness remained in him, it was in his ambition for us, his longing for us to have the ‘very best.’” Now, the historian has to read the fond remembrances of a loving wife and daughter (as recorded by a loving son) with skepticism. On the other hand, notwithstanding any evidence to the contrary, the historian has also to entertain the possibility that they might simply be telling the truth as they remember it. Further research might one day settle the scale on one side or the other. Until then, the historian should allow that Kelly might have been magnanimous as well as selfish, and that his selfishness might have stemmed from an almost congenital insecurity caused by his father’s sudden death.

No reader should discount Kelly’s writings because of the man’s apparent vanity. His life until 1937 was a prelude anyone born into his circumstances might have played. But not just anyone would have learned from such a life “to live in another key than he had previously lived.” Kelly did. The major devotional scores Thomas Kelly wrote in this new key were arranged after his death by Douglas Steere as A Testament of Devotion. Here are a few “bars”:

The basic response of the soul to the Light is internal adoration and joy, thanksgiving and worship, self-surrender and listening. The secret places of the heart cease to be our noisy workshop. They become a holy sanctuary of adoration and of self-oblation, where we are kept in perfect peace, if our minds be stayed on Him who has found us in the inward springs of our life. And in brief intervals of overpowering visitation we are able to carry the sanctuary frame of mind out into the world, into its turmoil and its fitfulness, and in a hyperaesthesia of the soul, we see all mankind tinged with deeper shadows, and touched with Galilean glories.(21)

Jesus and Jefferson(22)

No further research is needed to settle whether ecumenism was one of the major strains Rufus Jones played in later life. In addition to founding the AFSC for the express purpose of uniting Quakers of all persuasions with conscientious objectors of any religious stripe, Jones preached and spoke at every kind of Quaker meeting and every kind of church and served with leaders from each of the mainline denominations on John D. Rockefeller Jr.’s “Laymen’s Commission” in the early 1930s to study Asian missions firsthand. In Japan he meditated with the monks in a Zen Buddhist monastery. “No student of the deeper problems of life,” wrote Jones in a paper on missions that brought him to Rockefeller’s attention, “can fail to see that the greatest rival of Christianity in the world today is not Mohammedanism or Buddhism or Hinduism or Confucianism but a world-wide secular way of life and interpretation of the nature of things.” The irony, according to American historian David Hollinger, is that it was precisely engagement like Jones’s with the “diversity of the modern world” that “enabled [ecumenical Protestantism’s] community of faith to serve as a commodious halfway house to post-Protestant secularism.” Jones’s ecumenical work was therefore utterly self-defeating but only if “one approaches history as a Christian survivalist.”(23) One such religious survivalist, anyway, was Jones’s student Thomas Kelly.

In A Testament of Devotion Kelly rails against secular humanism. Glenn Hinson argues that “he employs always a positive psychology, founded upon the Quaker high estimate of human nature and potential.”(24) But a close reading of Kelly suggests otherwise. Twice Kelly calls human beings “unworthy.” “We are nothing,” he says plainly. Twice Kelly bemoans the self-reliance of “this humanistic age.” And twice he decries the vanity of human aspirations. This last dyad highlights Kelly’s anthropological pessimism.

But what trinkets we have sought after in life, the pursuit of what petty trifles has wasted our years as we have ministered to the enhancement of our own little selves! And what needless anguishes we have suffered because our little selves were defeated , were not flattered, were not cozened and petted!

Positions of prominence, eminences of social recognition which we once meant to attain how puny and trifling they become! Our old ambitions and heroic dreams – what years we have wasted in feeding our own insatiable self-pride, when only His will truly matters! Our wealth and property, security now and in old age – upon what broken reeds have we leaned, when He is “the rock of our heart, and our portion forever!”(25)

Finally, and most provocatively in the age of Hitler whose Germany Kelly himself had visited in 1938, Kelly expressly disowns America’s Jeffersonian legacy of natural rights. “Our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is not absolute.” Stronger: “Totalitarian are the claims of Christ. No vestige or reservation of ‘our’ rights can remain.” Kelly’s mystical experiences had led him to repudiate the classically liberal value of autonomy. At its starkest, the contrast between Jones and Kelly is that between a “liberal who wants to set at liberty those who are bound” and a radical who, like the Apostle Paul, wants nothing more for himself or for others than to be enslaved by Christ. A close look at Kelly might go a long way toward reversing what Hollinger sees as American historiography’s neglect of “the intensity and range of the self-critique carried out by the intellectual leadership of mainstream liberal Protestantism”  in the middle decades of the twentieth century. (26) 

As Quakers, Jones and Kelly had only one foot in the Protestant camp. The evangelical branch of Quakerism had by 1900 adopted a more traditional Protestant church structure, complete with a “hireling” ministry. Before 1900, evangelical Quakers had proved more ecumenical than their more culturally conservative coreligionists. But, as Hollinger points out, evangelicals in general were most comfortable working with other evangelicals in “particularistic” institutions that, for instance, absolutely affirmed the lordship of Christ and the authority of the Bible. Both Jones and Kelly, however, subscribed to a more liberal and mystical Quakerism that by the middle of the twentieth century welcomed theological and even religious “diversity.” Also, it held onto the Quaker distinctives of unprogrammed worship, nondescript meetinghouses, and no paid ministry. So there was no “church” for Jones and Kelly to lose. Yet their deep devotionalism resisted the incursions of secularism. Unlike the Protestant ecumenists, they were not “more devoted to creating and maintaining communities than to facilitating a close emotional relationship with the divine,” nor were they “more frankly concerned with social welfare than with the state of the individual soul.”(27) It was precisely the individual soul’s emotional relationship with the divine – and not ecumenical institutions – that Jones and Kelly sought to buttress as the last levee protecting the core of religion, mysticism, against the rising tides of secularism.

Perhaps Jones and Kelly are more aptly called ecumenists of the spirit, who thought they had “overcome the curse of Babel” with the universal language of mysticism. Their essentialism led them to believe that all religions met in the deeps of mystical experience. They would have had no truck with the “constructivist” position, that no experience ever entirely bursts the bonds of culture and history. Yet, ironically, Kelly could sound downright illiberal. Near the end of his life he reclaimed the evangelical language of his childhood, and in his devotional writings he avowedly often preaches like an “old-time evangelist.” Though both Jones and Kelly troubled the waters of religious liberalism, each assuming a distinct sort of radicalism that the majority of their fellow liberals would have disdained, Kelly gave his own more “hell” than Jones did.

When seen in the context of religious liberalism at large rather than that of “seeker” spirituality more narrowly, Kelly’s scathing critiques of humanism look more like cultural commentary than self-laceration. So it might not be too much to say that, while Jones was one of religious liberalism’s high priests, Kelly was one of its gadfly prophets – a voice crying in the wilderness, “the last vestige of earthly security is gone.For the plagues of Egypt are upon the world, entering hovel and palace, and there is no escape for you or for me.”(28) Kelly, maybe even more than Jones, just might have some wisdom to offer our apocalyptic age.


  1. Elizabeth Gray Vining, Friend of Life: The Biography of Rufus Jones (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1958), 291.
  2. Thomas Kelly, A Testament of Devotion (New York: HarperOne, 1992 [1941]), 65.
  3. Leigh Eric Schmidt, “The Making of Modern ‘Mysticism’,” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 71 (June 2003): 293.
  4. Matthew S. Hedstrom, “New Directions in the History of American Religious Liberalism,” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 79 (1): 239
  5. in Hal Bridges, American Mysticism: From William James to Zen (New York: Harper & Row, 1970), 27.
  6. For a full discussion of Jone’s Christology, see Guy Aiken, “Who Took the Christ out of Quakerism?  Rufus Jones and the Person and Work of Christ,” Quaker Religious Thought Quaker Religious Thought 116-117 (2011): 37-53.
  7. Gary Dorrien, The Making of American Liberal Theology: Idealism, Realism, and Modernity, 1900-1950 (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2003), 370; Rufus Jones, Social Law in the Spiritual World: Studies in Human and Divine Interrelationship (Philadelphia: John C. Winston Co., 1904), 222; Rufus Jones, Spiritual Reformers in the 16th  and 17th Centuries (London: Macmillan, 1914), xxii-xxiii.
  8. Dorrien, The Making of American Liberal Theology, 370; Carole Spencer, Holiness: The Soul of Quakerism.  An Historical Analysis of the Theology of Holiness in the Quaker Tradition (Eugene, OR, and London: Wipf & Stock, with Paternoster, 2007, 2008), 204; Rufus Jones, New Studies in Mystical Religion (New York: Macmillan, 1927), 205, capitalization his, in Spencer, Holiness, 204; Rufus Jones, The Trail of Life in College (New York: Macmillan, 1929), 123.
  9. Spencer, Holiness, 2; in Moore, The Light in Their Consciences, 102; Moore, The Light in Their Consciences, 103.
  10. Moore, The Light in Their Consciences, 109.
  11. Dorrien, The Making of American Liberal Theology, 451.
  12. Rufus Jones, A Call to What is Vital (New York: MacMillan, 1948), 29.
  13. Leigh Eric Schmidt, Restless Souls: Making of American Spirituality (San Francisco: Harper, 2005), 236.
  14. Schmidt, Restless Souls, 252, 253; Robert Orsi, Thank You, St. Jude: Women’s Devotion to the Patron Saint of Hopeless Causes (New Haven: Yale, 1996), 210; Richard King, “Mysticism and Spirituality,” in The Routledge Companion to the Study of Religion, edited by John R. Hinnells (London: Routledge, 2005), 316-317.
  15. Schmidt, Restless Souls, 253.
  16. For a full discussion of Schmidt, Kelly, and the devotional theology of A Testament of Devotion, see Guy Aiken, “Then and the Eternal Now: Thomas Kelly In and Beyond Historical Context,” The Canadian Quaker History Journal 74 (2010): 3444.
  17. Schmidt, Restless Souls, 239; E. Glenn Hinson, The Doubleday Devotional Classics: Vol. III, edited by E. Glenn Hinson (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1978), 167.
  18. In Richard Macy Kelly, Thomas Kelly: A Biography (New York: Harper & Row, 1966), 22, italics his.
  19. In Richard Kelly, Thomas Kelly, 39.
  20. In Richard Kelly, Thomas Kelly, 32, 89; 102, italics his.
  21. In Richard Kelly, Thomas Kelly, 115; Hinson, The Doubleday Devotional Classics, 167; Thomas Kelly, A Testament of Devotion, 4.
  22. The reference here is to Darren Dochuk’s section title “Jefferson and Jesus” in From Bible Belt to Sunbelt: Plain Folk Religion, Grassroots Politics, and the Rise of Evangelical Conservatism (New York: W. W. Norton, 2011), 13.
  23. in Vining, Friend of Life, 227; David A Hollinger, “After Cloven Tongues of Fire: Ecumenical Protestantism and the Modern American Encounter with Diversity,” The Journal of American History (June 2011): 46.
  24. Hinson, The Doubleday Devotional Classics, 166.
  25. Thomas Kelly, A Testament of Devotion, 39, 98, 24, 4, 17; 36, italics his; 20.
  26. Thomas Kelly, The Eternal Promise: A Sequel to A Testament of Devotion (Richmond, IN: Friends United Press, 2006), 22; Thomas Kelly, A Testament of Devotion, 21; Rufus Jones, Re-Thinking Religious Liberalism (Boston: Beacon, 1935), 2; Thomas Kelly, A Testament of Devotion, 35; Hollinger, “After Cloven Tongues of Fire”: 23.
  27. Hollinger, “After Cloven Tongues of Fire”: 22.
  28. Hollinger, “After Cloven Tongues of Fire”: 23; Thomas Kelly, A Testament of Devotion, 95; Hollinger, “After Cloven Tongues of Fire”: 23; Thomas Kelly, A Testament of Devotion, 41-42, italics his.

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Hedstrom, Matthew S.  “New Directions in the History of American Religious Liberalism.”  Journal of the American Academy of Religion 79 (1): 239.

Hedstrom, Matthew.  “Rufus Jones and Mysticism for the Masses.”  Cross Currents 54, no. 2 (2004). 

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Hollinger, David A.  “After Cloven Tongues of Fire: Ecumenical Protestantism and the Modern American Encounter with Diversity.”  The Journal of American History (June 2011): 21-48.

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