Imminence, Rootedness, and Realism: Eschapocalyptic Action (or not) in the Age of Trump

r. scot miller In this Age of Trump, two urgent questions have emerged for many Friends and Progressive Christians. First, what we ought to do in response to what happened in 2016 and continues to happen. And second, how do we address that wide swath of American Christianity (lumped under the terms “Evangelical: or “Religious […]

A Sermon Delivered at Yardleyville, Bucks Co., PA, September 26, 1858

by Lucretia Mott Reported Phonographically; published in The Liberator, October 29, 1858 ‘The kingdom of God is within us’, and ‘Christianity will not have performed  its office in the earth until its professors have learned to respect the rights and privileges of conscience, by a toleration without limit, a faith without contention.’ This is the […]

ONE: “Truly Radical, Non-violent, Friendly Approaches”(1): Challenges to the American Friends Service Committee

H. Larry Ingle Reprinted from Quaker History, Volume 105, Number 1, Spring 2016. Published by Friends Historical Association Nearly twenty-five years ago, on the occasion of the American Friends Service Committee’s seventy-fifth anniversary, Swarthmore College historian J. William Frost published a scholarly examination of the group’s early history. In his second paragraph, Frost stressed that […]

Lucretia Mott & The Perils of Dissent – Excerpts from James & Lucretia Mott, Life & Letters.

Anna Davis Hallowell. Boston Houghton Mifflin & Co., 1884 1860: “[The black abolitionist] Robert Purvis has said that I was “the most belligerent non-resistant he ever saw.” I accept the character he gives me; and I glory in it. I have no idea, because I am a non-resistant, of submitting tamely to injustice inflicted either on […]

Joseph Southall & The Ghosts of the Slain:

A Quaker Artist Takes on World War One    Editor’s Note: Joseph Southall (1861-1944) was a successful British artist, who was at the peak of his renown and productivity when World War One began. A lifelong Quaker pacifist and socialist, he set aside much of his conventional work to make drawings of protest against the […]

Milton Mayer, Quaker Hedgehog

A Review and Profile, by H. Larry Ingle Reprinted from Quaker Theology #8, 2003 Oxford-educated political scientist Isaiah Berlin, in his minor classic “The Hedgehog and the Fox” (1953), divided people into two groups, those who understood one big thing like the hedgehog and those, like the fox, who knew many things. The subject of […]

Remembering Tom Fox Introduction to: Tom Fox Was My Friend. Yours, Too.

Chuck Fager Christian Peacemakers Kidnapped in Baghdad John Stephens called me with the news: Tom Fox and three other members of the Christian peacemaker Teams’ group (CPT) in Baghdad had been kidnaped. It was just after Thanksgiving, late November, 2005.     That summer of 2005 John had been an intern at Quaker House in Fayetteville, […]

Passages by Tom Fox & James Loney

1. From James Loney Easter 2006 For 118 days we lay in a tomb – Norman Kember, Harmeet Sooden and me. Tom Fox too, for 104 days, until he was murdered in the early morning hours of March 9.     Our tomb was a 10-ft.-by-10-ft. room. How I came to hate every single detail of […]

Nixon’s First Cover-Up, The Religious Life of A Quaker President

Nixon’s First Cover-Up, The Religious Life of A Quaker President. By H. Larry Ingle. University of Missouri, 271 pages. Reflections on a “Quaker” President Who Wasn’t Actually a Quaker By Lon Fendall [Note: This essay was originally presented to a panel at the 2015 American Academy of Religion meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.] I want to […]

The Fearless Benjamin Lay: The Quaker Dwarf Who Became the First Revolutionary Abolitionist

Reviewed by Stephen Angell A Review of Marcus Rediker, The Fearless Benjamin Lay: The Quaker Dwarf Who Became the First Revolutionary Abolitionist. Boston: Beacon Press, 2017. $26.95, hardback. Marcus Rediker, Distinguished Professor of Atlantic History at the University of Pittsburgh, has published many excellent volumes with African and Afro-diaspora themes, including The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, […]

Excerpts from: ALL SLAVE-KEEPERS That keep the Innocent in Bondage, APOSTATES

 Pretending to lay claim to the Pure & Holy Christian Religion; of what Congregation so ever; but especially in their Ministers, by whose example the filthy Leprosy and Apostacy is spread far and near; it is a notorious Sin, which many of the true Friends of Christ, and his pure Truth, called Quakers, has been […]

“Ham Sok Hon: Voice of the People and Pioneer of Religious Pluralism in Twentieth Century Korea; Biography of a Korean Quaker”* A Review

Reviewed by Chuck Fager Reprinted from Quaker Theology #5, Autumn 2001 Early in the morning of Second Month 4, 1989, Kim Sung Soo learned that Ham Sok Hon had died. “When I looked at him in his coffin,” Kim writes, “I felt it was as if a part of myself had died. Faced with his death my […]

Whittaker Chambers, Alger Hiss, and Quaker Leadership: A Problem for Friends

H. Larry Ingle Lately, I have come to see Whittaker Chambers as one of the most fascinating Quakers in the middle of the 20th century. He was also the member of the American Communist Party for about thirteen years, from 1925 to 1938. He joined the rural Pipe Creek Meeting, a part of the Hicksite […]

Tom Fox: In Memoriam: Introduction

by Chuck Fager I — News of the Kidnaping of Tom Fox John Stephens called me with the news, on November 26, 2005: Tom Fox and three other members of the Christian peacemaker Teams’ group in Baghdad had been kidnaped. In the summer of 2005, John was an intern at Quaker House in Fayetteville, North […]

Tom Fox Speaks For Himself: Excerpts from His Blog/Journal

Remembering Margaret Hassan Tom – Monday, November 15, 2004 “Giving material goods can help people. If food is needed and we can give it, we do that. If shelter is needed, or books or medicine is needed, and we can give them, we do that. As best we can, we can care for whoever needs […]

A Godly Play Story About Tom Fox

Today I want to tell you about a Quaker man named Tom Fox who believed in walking cheerfully over the earth answering to that of God in everyone. Tom was a dad. He had 2 children, a girl and a boy. Tom loved his children and loved being a dad. He loved to cook and he loved making music.
And he loved peace. Tom Fox was a peacemaker. (Read more)

Feeling Light Within: Peg Morton Remembered For The Way She Lived and Died

Теd Taylor I Feeling Light WithinPeg Morton rememberedFor the way she lived and died Ted Taylor Eugene, Oregon – Margaret Miner Morton, better known as Peg Morton in the activist and Quaker community, died Dec. 19 at age 85 of natural causes. Before she died, her voice and charisma still filled rooms, and with medical […]

The Death of Peg Morton: A View from Eugene Friends Meeting

Dina Wills I The small, beautiful wood-paneled Meeting Room of the Eugene Friends Meeting (EFM) was packed with at least 150 people, many of them standing around the walls. The hand-made wooden benches were crowded, with chairs anywhere a chair could fit. The door to the Memory garden was open, even though the weather was […]

Reflection on Peg Morton

Ken Bradstock Every living thing on this planet dies. Everything from the tiniest of microbes to the Great Sequoias eventually comes to an end. The question is not “Will we die?” but how that happens. For many of us, the decisions are made for us and the end comes in a blink. For some, there […]

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 […]

Mary Dyer Musings – A Measure of Light , A Novel by Beth Powning, and Mary’s Joy, a Play by Jeanmarie Simpson

Jeanmarie Simpson Following a 2005 performance of my play, A Single Woman, about the life of first US Congresswoman and lifelong pacifist, Jeannette Rankin, I was approached by a Quaker woman. She was moved by my work and felt compelled to tell me about Mary Dyer, whom she described as a Quaker martyr. She thought I […]

“From Personality & Place”* An Excerpt

Douglas Gwyn In Pendle Hill’s Upmeads library hangs a print of Edward Hicks’ The Peaceable Kingdom. Hicks (1780–1849) was a noted Quaker minister who lived in Newtown, Pennsylvania (about 45 miles northeast of Pendle Hill). He was also a painter at a time when Friends still shunned the arts. His great theme was the prophet […]

Forgiveness over Khmer Rouge: a journey or an obligation? A Beginning of Dialogue

Editor’s Introduction: Forgiveness is a frequent topic of discussion among Friends these days. For American Quakers, most of whom live in relatively comfortable circumstances, the issue is typically posed in personal terms: as a means of coping with lingering grievances, failed relationships, family trauma; in broader social contexts, it might involve experiences of group injustices […]

Excerpts from “The Dance Between Hope and Fear,” by John Calvi

An Introduction and Review For some years now, a small chorus of people has nagged John Calvi to write a book. Finally, over the past year, he has heeded these calls. As will be explained further in the following excerpts, Calvi is a Quaker healer. And though he might quail at the term, I would […]

“An Excerpt from Howard and Anna Brinton: Re-inventors of Quakerism In the Twentieth Century, An Interpretive Biography”*

By Anthony Manousos Growing Up in “Brinton Country” To tell the story of the Brintons or of the Beans and the Coxes, Anna’s family, is to tell the story of Quakerism as it developed in America. Anna and Howard both took pride in the fact that they could trace their ancestry to the early days […]

Questions for Howard: Being a Kind of Review of the New Biography of Howard & Anna Brinton

By Chuck Fager “The time has come–indeed, it is long overdue–for a critical assessment of Howard’s major works: Friends for Three Hundred Years (1952) and Guide to Quaker Practice (1943), which continue to be best sellers among liberal Friends.” –Anthony Manousos in Howard and Anna Brinton:                                 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Howard Thurman and Quakers

By Stephen W. Angell In 1955, the inaugural year of the Friends Journal, a special issue was published on the theme of the Wider Quaker Fellowship. One of the essays in that issue was excerpted from Deep River, a forthcoming book by Howard Thurman (1899-1981), eminent Christian African American mystical and social gospel theologian, preacher, […]

Response to Thomas Hamm: Holiness 2.5 Cheers

Carole Dale Spencer First of all, I want to dismiss any notions that my book was in any way an attack on Hamm’s Transformation of American Quakerism. While we disagree on a few issues, his work was an important catalyst for the beginning of my exploration of holiness and Quakers almost twenty years ago. I […]

“Holiness: The Soul of Quakerism”*

Reviewed by Chuck Fager It was the British historian John Punshon who told a large Quaker body in 2008 that: . . . one way of studying the Quaker past is to use it as a means of self-justification. At times, interpretations of our history have been produced that have been used in the doctrinal […]

Silence in Heaven: The Revelation to John Woolman

We might call theology a conversation between present and past. Theology seeks to address contemporary concerns but does so as part of a historical community. So we look to our communal elders of ages past and to their gathered wisdom as a resource for our own theological work.

“Hideous Dream,” “Full Spectrum Disorder: the Military in the New American Century” & “Hold On to Your Humanity: An Open Letter to GI’s in Iraq”* Reviewed

Reviewed by David Gosling In preparing this collective review of three written pieces by Stan Goff, a one-time Army Master Sergeant turned Socialist; I found myself simultaneously repulsed and intrigued, pushed and pulled, by his suggestions, opinions, insights, findings, memories, and rants. Of the three works, one is a straightforward memoir of Goff’s experiences in […]

An Interview with David Gosling, Winter 2008

Q. Can you tell us first a bit about your military service and your deployment to Iraq? A. I am an Infantry Captain in the U.S. Army and have been stationed with the 10th Mountain Division of the XVIII Airborne Corps for the past three years. Before that, I spent approximately eight months at Ft. […]

The Sermon on the Mount in the Life and Death of Tom Fox

Pearl Hoover [Editor’s Note: This essay is adapted from a presentation at a memorial session for Tom Fox at Baltimore yearly meeting, in Harrisonburg, Virginia, August 4, 2006.] This paper encompasses the life of Tom Fox, from his earliest decision to give his life towards peacemaking to the fruit of his decision as expressed by […]

Apocalypse – Later*

A Postscript by Chuck Fager As noted in our review of this novel in QT #12, the author had used the novel form to spread a prophecy that the real town of Farmington, Maine would be transformed into the New Jerusalem, free of death, sin, and illness, on June 6, 2006, at dawn. The transformation […]

“The Spiral Staircase: My Climb Out of Darkness” and “Grace Notes” Reviewed*

Reviewed by Ellen McCambley The Spiral Staircase is the latest book written by scholar and author Karen Armstrong, who presents it as a “sequel” to her earlier book, “Through the Narrow Gate,” which documents her early years in a Catholic convent. Karen is the author of several other books on religious affairs, including A History […]

Lucretia Mott, Liberal Quaker Theologian

Chuck Fager Let me begin by posing a question: If Lucretia Mott had ever been arrested for being a liberal Quaker theologian, would there have been enough evidence to convict? Of course, she would have loudly protested that she was no such thing, that in fact she roundly despised theology, and steered clear of it. […]

Messiahs of Every Age: A Theological Basis of Nineteenth-Century Social Reform

Priscilla Elaine Eppinger At the age of 87 Lucretia Mott attended the 1880 Philadelphia Quaker Yearly Meeting. The representative committee reported that although the issue of temperance had been before them, the “way did not open for them to take action upon it.” After a lively discussion it was noted that a bill proposing the […]

The Catechisms of George Fox

Why they were written in the first place, what was contained in them, what use was made of them, And what we can learn from them today By Stephen W. Angell Catechisms are out of fashion in the twenty-first century, perhaps because of a perceived rigidity or undue conformity that seems to many to be […]

Review: “A Catholic’s Journey through Quakerism*

Reviewed by Jeffrey Gros This fascinating pilgrimage will be of interest to all Friends and to Christians beyond the boundaries of Quakerism. The author offers her text particularly to those traditions that have nurtured her own very full life: “I hope that Catholics who read my story may find in the message and spirituality of […]

Friends for 350 Years Howard H. Brinton. Historical update and notes by Margaret Hope Bacon.

Reviewed by Chuck Fager There is really no honest way to say this but straight out: Except for its handsome new cover design, this reissue of Howard Brinton’s Friends for 300 Years is an utter embarrassment. For the sake of Pendle Hill’s reputation, and out of respect for Brinton’s decades of service to that institution, it ought […]