On this page you can find the best of the Jolly Quaker blog, organised by theme.
Quaker theology for beginners
Here are posts for those new to Quakerism or Quaker theology:
- I’ve written reflections on the first twelve ‘Advices and Queries‘. You can find the full list here, and the first reflection on ‘Is this the Quaker gospel?’
- How is Quaker silence different to other kinds of silence?
- What do Quakers mean by ‘testimony‘?
- What Jesus means to me.
- What’s a Quaker approach to evil?
- My understanding of hope.
Power and privilege
I’ve written many posts about inclusion, power and privilege, both in general, and specifically in relation to whiteness and queerness.
- In 2019, Britain Yearly Meeting continued its exploration of power and privilege. Here are my reflections from that event.
- Is Christianity inherently exclusive? Does Jesus exclude?
Whiteness and racism
- In 2016, I first began to think about whiteness after hearing from an all black panel at the Greenbelt festival. Here is the blog post it inspired.
- Thinking about whiteness took my back to the early Quaker understanding of sin. In this blog post I explore the relationship between white privilege and the Quaker image of ‘the seed of the serpent‘.
- Here are my thoughts on how to set aside white guilt.
- In 2020, I discovered the theology of James Cone. Here’s my first attempt to bring his insights to bear on liberal Quakerism.
- In this post, I reflect on institutional racism and Quakers.
- Here’s a book review of ‘The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race’ by Willie James Jennings.
- What might a queer response to climate change look like?
- My thoughts on Christianity iconography, gay bear culture, and male/male affection.
- Thoughts towards a Quaker theology of trans inclusion.
General Quaker theology
- Sometimes Quakers struggle with the word theology, in this post I explain how theology is my ministry, and share my love for the work of the German Reformed theologian Jürgen Moltmann.
- How might Quakerism be renewed in Britain today? In this post I suggest that we need a Quakerism that is lived, local, liberated and logical.
- The 2014 Swarthmore Lecture by Ben Pink Dandelion had a big impact on me, and I wrote a 3-part blog post to process my reflections. In part 1 I look at what it means to be a Quaker. In part 2 I look at how we tell the Quaker story, and in part 3 I think about Quakerism as a living tradition.
- In 2018, Britain Yearly Meeting agreed to review its ‘book of discipline‘. In this blog post, I reflect on how we can move forward with this task.
- In the 2017 George Gorman Lecture, Tim Gee proposed that Quaker meetings include a ‘World Religions Bible‘ on the meeting table. In this blog post I share my difficulties with this.
- In this post called ‘I’m religious, not spiritual‘, I explain the theological movement known as postliberalism, and what it has to say to Quakers.
- In ‘Rethinking the Liberal Quaker Jesus‘ I take a critical look at the Christology of early liberal Quaker Edward Grubb.
- What does ‘Quaker Faith and Practice’ say about sin and evil? Find out in this post.
- In this book review of ‘Seeking Paradise’ by Stephen Lingwood, I reflect on Quaker theology and ‘outreach‘.
Being a faith community
Reflections on the essentials of Quaker community, and my experience of other intentional communities.
- What does it mean to trust the Spirit, and trust our faith community?
- Do we welcome newcomers and new ideas into our community? Or do we squash them?
- My thoughts on the centrality of food to community life.
- Reflections on my visit to the Windsor Hill Wood community.
- Reflections on my time working at the Othona community in Bradwell-on-Sea.