Editor’s Introduction #14

We don’t do “theme” issues here at Quaker Theology, but readers could be forgiven for thinking that this Issue #14 had a theme of Scriptural study and interpretation.

The first piece, by our newly-appointed Associate Editor Stephen W. Angell (Welcome, Steve!), considers how differing approaches to reading and understanding the Bible play out in several current situations of discussion or conflict among Friends. The second, by Anthony Manousos, compares the Bible and the Qur’an, their origin, interpretation and use in their respective traditions.

Further on, a review essay by Douglas Gwyn, takes up the work of Walter Wink, which combines biblical study and theology with the psychology of Carl Jung and a lively social concern.

This is a substantive assemblage of work, by some notable writers among the Quaker ranks, with some recurring concerns and subjects; but we didn’t plan it that way.

The review by H. Larry Ingle departs from these themes, by examining Restless Souls, a pioneering and remarkably illuminating book which traces the evolution of liberal seeker spirituality and theology in America, a tradition which has looked to many other sources in addition to the major scriptures.

And our informal series of narrative theologies continues with an evocative credo by Joe Franko, who finds himself occupying a somewhat anomalous position as a firmly Christian Friend in a firmly eclectic yearly meeting. The final review, by the editor, takes a beginning look at the burgeoning literature describing the plague of torture which has taken root in our official culture, and which some Friends are taking up a witness against.

But perhaps, come to think of it, there is a “theme” here, namely the re-affirmation of this journal’s intention to serve as a progressive forum for study and discussion; as these pages show, there is still plenty to study and discuss.

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