Quakerly Reading

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Quakerly Reading

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Maio 9, 2009, 12:56am

So what are we all reading in the way of Quakerly topics these days? I'm a library volunteer, so get to see a lot of Quaker titles on a regular basis. When I rearranged the shelves last year to make more room for burgeoning categories, the small fiction section ended in a more visible spot and has been really popular since.

I am currently reading the second volume of Jan de Hartog's PEACEABLE KINGDOM. I loved the first volume. It really made the early Quakers very real. de Hartog is apparently a Margaret Fell fan. He seems to be crediting her with the organization that created Quakerism -- the reason George Fox's following didn't disappear into history as many seeker groups of that time did.

I've also done a lot of Pendle Hill Pamphlet reading. A recent PHP about resolving conflict in Meeting is a keeper-destined-to-be-classic: No. 399, MATTHEW 18: WISDOM FOR LIVING IN COMMUNITY. This one arrived right after our Meeting had a conflict workshop. About the same time, I picked up No. 205, Murphy's THE SOUND OF SILENCE about Tai Chi. Half way through Murphy's essay, there is an excellent discussion on conflict and its role in living creatively.

I also particularly liked No. 156, Howard Brinton's ETHICAL MYSTICISM, and No. 344, DANCING WITH GOD THROUGH THE STORM, Jennifer Elam's essay on mysticism and mental health.

Two of my all-time favorite Quaker books are Best's REBEL SAINTS and Byrd's QUAKER WAYS IN FOREIGN POLICY. And, oh yeah, I love Punshon's book on silence, and, and, and . . .

Maio 9, 2009, 5:37am

For fiction I can recommend Stronghold by Stanley Ellin, kind of a thriller about how a Quaker family reacts when attacked by a criminal gang. I also like The Quiet Rebels by Margaret Hope Bacon. also I often see books with some small reference to Quakers. I recently read Farthing by Jo Walton, which in the later part of the book had a Quaker character with a small but significant role.

Nov 14, 2009, 11:29pm

Just read Imagination and Spirit a selection of fiction and non-fiction writing by quaker authors edited by J. Brent Bill.

Jul 26, 2013, 8:28pm

I am now reading Quaker Aesthetics a book of essays on how Quakers principles addected the designs of things Quakers used and how Quakers affected American design.

Jul 26, 2013, 8:44pm

I tried Quaker Witness, a mystery by Irene Allen. The story wasn't too bad but the writing was quite off-putting. I don't plan to continue the series.

Jul 26, 2013, 8:47pm

Have you read Murder Among Friends? I have it but haven't read it yet.

Jul 26, 2013, 9:03pm

I haven't, but I'll keep an eye out for it. Thanks for the pointer.

Jul 28, 2013, 7:13pm

Literary coincidence? This morning at Meeting, a Friend gave us all a copy of Pendle Hill Pamphlet 422 Reclaiming the Transcendent by Thomas Gates about Process Theology, something I had not heard of before, which he sees as deeply congruent with Quaker spirituality. I also started a new novel Paradise News by David Lodge about a British man unexpectedly journeying to Hawaii to attend a dying aunt. He is an academic working on a review of a book on Process Theology, when he gets off to his island adventure.

Fev 14, 2017, 1:11pm

Have you read Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd's or The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier? Chevalier is an attender at Friends Meeting and grew up a Friend, I believe. Both of these books are about women and slavery/abolition. I really liked The Last Runaway for how it incorporated Friends' beliefs, but also looked at how one young woman in a very unusual and challenging situation lived these beliefs, as well as the price some Quakers paid for following their beliefs and the personal fallout that could come from that price. I haven't read Invention of Wings, but really want to.

Editado: Fev 15, 2017, 9:02am

I loved The Invention of Wings. Will have to look for The Last Runaway--thanks!

Ago 26, 2017, 1:17pm

It has been so long since I checked in on this group. I have done a lot of Quakerly reading in the past four years. I've done a series of essays for What Canst Thou Say?, an online Quaker journal, and in the process done quite a bit of reading on mysticism. Some of my favorites: Touched by God in Quaker Meeting, Pendle Hill Pamphlet 338, by Kenneth Carroll; Quaker Views on Mysticism, PHP 375, by Margery Post Abbott; Dancing with God Through the Storm: Mysticism & Mental Illness, by Jennifer Elam (a book-length version of the PHP of the same name); Jacob Boehme: Insights into the Challenge of Evil, PHP 214, by Ann Liem; and last, but in no way the least, Mysticism and the Experience of Love, PHP 115, by Howard Thurman.

Ago 26, 2017, 1:22pm

Much of my recent reading has been on prayer and healing. I highly recommend a series of three books by Rebecca Beard, a Quaker, a physician, and a faith healer. Her books are both a memoir and a manual of practice: Everyman's Search (1950), Everyman's Goal (1951), and Everyman's Mission (1952). Copies of the originals (available at abebooks.com and betterworld.com) are much less expensive than the new print-on-demand editions. And the notes made by previous owners are always interesting!

Ago 26, 2017, 8:42pm

I've just picked up a copy of Fit for Friendship, Not for Freedom, which claims to tell the truth about the involvement of Friends in racial justice efforts in the nineteenth century. It's quite large, so it will take me a while to get through it.