Quaker Culture

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: Inward Life

[I] was early convinced in my mind that true Religion consists in an inward life, wherein the Heart doth Love and Reverence God the Creator, and learn to exercise true Justice and Goodness, not only toward all men, but also toward the Brute Creatures.

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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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Quaker Culture: Radical Hospitality

Three principles which are especially relevant to this effort [to act in accordance with perfect virtue] are inclusiveness, self-sacrifice, and noncoercion, which are each part of the nature of God. Our practice of these principles may be grouped together as radical hospitality.

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Quaker Culture: Environmental Awareness

[Friends are not sufficiently] sensitized to environmental issues, and the result has been that we are now only slightly more awake to their significance than the average American . . . [As] individuals, many of us have become involved with environmental organizations, or have spoken out on special concerns within the environmental arena.

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