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This chapter surveys educational institutions, philosophies, and trends in schools started by Friends worldwide, examining both practical and religious dimensions of Friends’ education, with attention to how these have evolved within the different branches of Quakerism. It explores the nature of the “guarded and select” education that Quakers gave their own youth, and the ways they educated the poor and African Americans. It considers the effects of nineteenth-century Holiness revivals on Quaker education. It examines the recent growth of the religious and theological dimensions of Quaker studies. It also examines controversies that concern contemporary Quaker education, especially as it relates to the education of the children of the wealthy and powerful.
The Quakers (or Friends) today are a global faith, highly distinctive in their theological emphases and practice, and comprised of different branches. The recent history has been one of schism, diversification, mission and varying degrees of intra-denominational ecumenism. For all but a few Quakers, there still exists a ‘world family of Friends’, rooted in both an historical tradition of faith, practice and witness that transcends doctrinal, liturgical and political diversity.
With particular concern for the complex interplay between unity and fractiousness in this region, this chapter profiles the three largest branches of North American Quakers: Friends General Conference, the most liberal branch; Friends United Meeting, which serves a mixed group of Quaker liberals and evangelicals; and the Evangelical Friends Church International, a clear voice for Evangelical Friends. Western Yearly Meeting, composed of meetings affiliated with Friends United Meeting located in Western Indiana and Illinois, is the subject of a case study for this chapter.
The Cambridge Companion to Quakerism offers a fresh, up-to-date, and accessible introduction to Quakerism. Quakerism is founded on radical ideas and its history of constancy and change offers fascinating insights into the nature of non-conformity. In a series of eighteen essays written by an international team of scholars, and commissioned especially for this volume, the Companion covers the history of Quakerism from its origins to the present day. Employing a range of methodologies, it features sections on the history of Quaker faith and practice, expressions of Quaker faith, regional studies, and emerging spiritualities. It also examines all branches of Quakerism, including evangelical, liberal, and conservative, as well as non-theist Quakerism and convergent Quaker thought. This Companion will serve as an essential resource for all interested in Quaker thought and practice.
This book provides the most comprehensive theological analysis to date of the work of early Quaker leaders. Spanning the first seventy years of the Quaker movement to the beginning of its formalization, Early Quakers and their Theological Thought examines in depth the lives and writings of sixteen prominent figures. These include not only recognized authors such as George Fox, William Penn, Margaret Fell and Robert Barclay, but also lesser-known ones who nevertheless played equally important roles in the development of Quakerism. Each chapter draws out the key theological emphases of its subject, offering fresh insights into what the early Quakers were really saying and illustrating the variety and constancy of the Quaker message in the seventeenth century. This cutting-edge volume incorporates a wealth of primary sources to fill a significant gap in the existing literature, and it will benefit both students and scholars in Quaker studies.