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Quaker Spirituality: Selected Writings Paperback – May 3 2005
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From the Back Cover
Simplicity in forms of worship, opposition to violence, concern for social injustice, and, above all, a faith in the personal and corporate guidance of the Holy Spirit are characteristics of the spirituality of the people called Quakers. The author has assembled a comprehensive collection of Quaker writings. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
The HarperCollins Spiritual Classics series presents short, accessible introductions to the foundational works that shaped Western religious thought and culture. This series seeks to find new readers for these dynamic spiritual voices -- voices that have changed lives throughout the centuries and still can today.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon even presents the first two reviews - which are of the Paulist Press 1983 book- as if they are reviews of this book from Harper Collins 2005.
Amazon, please don't conflate these two books.
The original 1983 book from Paulist Press is a great, albeit brief overview of Quaker writing. It brings together in one place, authors that can be hard to get a hold of; for example, Caroline Stephen.
Five stars to the original 1983 book
One star to the abridged 2005 edition for being too short to be a decent introduction
Zero stars to Amazon for confusing the two.
This book has both historical and philosophical views. Though much has changed in the world, and in the opinions of 'modern' Quakers, the core beliefs remain the same -- those who are new to Quakerism, those considering it or those just interested in another view will find this book of help.
American Quaker John Woolman (1720-1772) wrote that he believed "true religion consisted in an inward life, wherein the heart doth love and reverence God the Creator and learn to exercise true justice and goodness, not only towards all men but also towards the brute creatures." (Pg. 165) He also believed slavery "to be a practice inconsistent with the Christian religion." (Pg. 169)
Caroline Stephen (1834-1909) of England states that the justification of Quakerism lies in "its energetic assertion that the kingdom of heaven is within us; that we are not made dependent upon any outward organization for our spiritual welfare... other Protestant sects ... transfer the idea of infallibility from the Church to the Bible. Nothing, I believe, can really teach us the nature and meaning of inspiration but personal experience of it." (Pg. 247) She adds that a true mystic is conscious of having an inward life, "into which as into a secret chamber, he can retreat at will." (Pg. 248) Thomas R. Kelly (1893-1941) asserts that "Life is meant to be lived from a Center, a divine Center." (Pg. 304)
This is a wonderful collection, and makes a marvelous introduction to Quakerism and its spirituality.