Quaker Culture

Quaker Culture: Diversity of Beliefs

The many words and phrases Friends use for the divine life and power at the heart of the universe reflect the diversity of beliefs and variety of experiences among us. What one Friend may understand as the Inward Christ, another Friend may understand as the Ground of Being.

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Quaker Culture: Spiritual Weapons

[We] have been enabled to see a splendid vision of what human unity is, and of what human fellowship may be, and have of necessity been filled with a profound sense of the evil of violating this fellowship. This vision has brought us a renewed faith in the power of spiritual forces to build the structure of humanity, and to redeem it from error and wrong. . .

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Quaker Culture: Children

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”. . .

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Quaker Culture: Science and Discovery

Science starts from wonder and the unceasing questioning of the free human spirit. The study of it enriches the mind through the fascinating and ever-widening picture of the universe that it provides . . . The power of the human mind when used methodically in the pursuit of truth . . .

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Quaker Culture: Clerks and Committees

For Friends . . . “A lot of work happens in Quaker committees. A lot of work is done by appointed individuals. (We hesitate to call them Officers, as that sounds quite corporate or military.) A lot of work is carried out by those who know how to do it. . . Committees are appointed for action, not for stalling or burying an issue.

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Quaker Culture: Creativity

The creative impulse is part of being human, a gift from the Holy Spirit, and a way of finding a deep connection with our Creator. . .  Creativity can be a form of worship and witness, a ministry and a calling, a way of speaking out of the silence. Like other spiritual disciplines, creative expression carries the potential for spiritual transformation.

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Quaker Culture: Prisons

The terrible sufferings of our forefathers in the prisons of the seventeenth century have given us as a people a special interest in the management of prisons and the treatment of crime. . . [There is] much work still to be done, in creating a right understanding of the nature and causes of crime, and in emphasizing the need for redemptive treatment rather than retributive punishment.

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Quaker Culture: Concerns in the World

The pioneering quality of Quaker social work is largely due to the character of the meeting for worship. Silent waiting worship permits a fresh and direct facing of facts under conditions in which the conscience becomes sensitized. There is no screen of words and abstract concepts between the soul and reality. . .

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