In the Puritan and Calvinist cultures prevalent in 17th century Britain and America, children were believed to be born corrupted by “original sin”. Quakers rejected this doctrine, and Robert Barclay called it “an invented and unscriptural barbarism”. . . In an age when harsh punishments for children were the norm, Quaker parents rejected corporal punishment and used reason to appeal to their children. Today, the Quaker Peace Centre in South Africa conducts training for teachers on alternatives to corporal punishment in schools.
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