Archive for the 'Authority' Category

The post-religious destiny of Quakerism

[The following grew out of a reply to Bill and Richard’s comments on the last big post.]
It’s certainly true that early Friends were Christian – very much so. There’s plenty evidence of that.
But it’s a profound mistake to see these outward beliefs – and if you’ve read much of early Friends, you know the […]

La espiritualidad post-religiosa

At times like these — when you notice you’re being linked to by what looks like a great blog written from Ecuador — I wish I knew more than the most rudimentary Spanish. An excerpt, from “Mi espiritualidad post-religiosa”:
Así entonces escogí considerarme cuáquero [= Quaker] (luego se salir del colegio), todo el que crea en […]

Revolution and the Quakers that Friends aren’t

Recently Matt left a comment asking a question on anarchism — what is the way forward?
“I’m frustrated with the anarchist movement as a whole because it seems most anarchists feel that the only way to affect real, radical change is through violence. I’m of the opinion that we can’t have a political revolution without a […]

On ‘honest but timid souls’

‘The Friend speaks my mind’ – 19th-century political revolutionary Mikhail Bakunin on God, authority-lovers, and a group that sounds a lot (to my jaded ears) like liberal Quakers, in a memorable, withering passage:

bakunin expressionist.GIFThere is a class of people who, if they do not believe, must at least make a semblance of believing. This class comprising all the tormentors, all the oppressors, and all the exploiters of humanity; priests, monarchs, statesmen, soldiers, public and private financiers, officials of all sorts, policemen, gendarmes, jailers and executioners, monopolists, capitalists, tax-leeches, contractors and landlords, lawyers, economists, politicians of all shades, down to the smallest vendor of sweetmeats, all will repeat in unison those words of Voltaire:

“If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.”

There exists, finally, a somewhat numerous class of honest but timid souls. . .




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Quote

  • The Quakers are not so blindly attached to antiquity, as to keep to customs, merely because they are of an ancient date. But they are ready, on conviction, to change, alter, and improve.

    A Portraiture of Quakerism (1806) by Thomas Clarkson


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