A small sect of fewer than 20,000 in the UK, and approximately 100,000 in the USA, Quakers have produced a disproportionate number of eminent thinkers, scientists, businessmen, and their teachings have been widely influential and become mainstream. Best known as pacifists, Quakers have always been at the forefront of social justice and conflict resolution, once being leaders in the abolitionist movement on three continents and, more recently, key players in international peacemaking and fighting global poverty. This book is a fascinating in-depth look at the Quaker religion, philosophy, distinctive culture and its place in history. With roots in the 17th century and the insights of George Fox, Quakers have a core belief in a direct experience of God by simply listening in silence with no need for priests, hierarchies, sacraments or other rituals, an absolute commitment to work for peace and have earned a reputation for being honest and plain speaking which helped them build successful enterprises in the 18th and 19th century. Like many religious sects, the Quakers also endured religious persecution and in the aftermath of the English Civil War fled to America for religious freedom, eventually establishing the Pennsylvania colony in 1681 as a haven for Quakers. Today, Quakers walk an intriguing line between their solemn and deeply held religious beliefs and the challenge of actively engaging in the modern world as they seek to better circumstances and in their founder's words, "walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone."
About the Author
Peter Furtado is the former editor of History Today magazine and is editor of History's Daybook, Histories of Nations and was editor of the Shire Living Histories series and author of Restoration England.
“Illuminating portrait of historical and contemporary Quakerism...Reading this account of Quaker activism, we realized that no other religious community has worked so hard, so long, and on so many social issues.” —Spirituality and Practice
“A really nice new book...lots of information very well presented -i Ideal for both adults and older children -- PLUS they have found many striking images that I have not seen anywhere else to illustrate Quaker history and practice. The book is part history, part Quaker theology and part examples of the Quaker testimonies in action, all well written by a sympathetic and knowledgeable historian.” —Friends General Conference
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