In ‘Quaker Faith and Practice’ (Qf&p), the ‘book of discipline’ of Quakers in Britain, there is no chapter dedicated to sin or evil. Quakers are not known for their sin-talk. Early Quakers would accuse the Calvinists of ‘preaching up sin’. In Qf&p, there are Edgar B Castle’s words that ‘to contemplate evil is a poor way of becoming good’ (26.69). However, Qf&p does have quite a bit to say about sin and evil, and I’ve put this summary together as part of my work on Quakers and racism.
Where theology is concerned, Quakers find themselves pulled in two directions. We shy away from the idea of theology, yet we can’t stop ourselves from doing it.
Dear readers, I hope that wherever you are reading this, you are safe and well. This post is a short reflection on my writing, reading and thinking in 2020, and a big ‘thank you’ for reading the results. This year, perhaps more than ever, I’m thankful for books. In those times when the pandemic sapped … Continue reading Thank you to my readers in 2020
In case any of my readers missed it, back in July I wrote a piece for the Woodbrooke learning blog called 'Stronger Together – a Quaker reflection on Pride'. In it I reflect on some of the ways I've been effected by lockdown. You can read it here. [Featured image photo by Steve Johnson on … Continue reading Stronger Together – a Quaker reflection on Pride
Every now and again I encounter a book that gives me such a jolt it demands to be talked about. I've just finished James Cone's 'A Black Theology of Liberation', first published in 1970, and it has stirred me up. I found it both exciting and disturbing, and I need to process what I've read. … Continue reading James Cone’s ‘A Black Theology of Liberation’ and white liberal Quakerism
I've written a short piece for the Woodbrooke blog on whether Quakers need to choose between mysticism or activism. You can read it here.
I never know quite what to do with New Year. I love the Advent season of preparation (I generally read something from the Hebrew Scriptures, this time it was Ezekiel) and get all excited about Christmas, and then New Year muscles in and steals its thunder. There's something about New Year I always find anticlimactic, … Continue reading Thank you to my readers
I suspect you only need to spend a short time with British Quakers before you hear the phrase ‘that of God in every one’. It may take a much longer time before someone tells you what they think it means. In this post I’ll explore the various meanings of this phrase, and how theologian Jürgen … Continue reading What is ‘that-of-God in everyone’?
I learned that men don't kiss men when I was about 11. We were visiting an aunt and uncle, and I kissed my aunty when we were greeted at the door. As I moved to kiss my uncle, he stuck a hand out for me to shake. The gesture was very clear. I was too … Continue reading ‘Greet one another with a holy kiss (unless you’re both men)’
Hello Jolly Quaker readers. I hope you've had a good summer. Mine's been busy, often too busy, but full of things to be thankful for. Here's a short update about my blog and the plans I have for it. You may have noticed that I've posted very infrequently over the last year. That's because I've … Continue reading An update from Jolly Quaker