I’m Zach. I’m 24. I live in Boston.

This blog is about spirituality that is grounded in evidence and personal experience rather than dogmatic beliefs or traditions, and that is more or less in tune with the scientific spirit. In particular, I mostly write about the Society of Friends (aka Quakers), a community I’ve been a part of for the past five years.

I’ve come to feel, however, that Friends don’t (and perhaps can’t) go far enough in that direction, and am in the middle of a slow process of disaffiliation. Hence the term “post-Quakerism.” I expect within the year I’ll end this blog and start another that will be less sectarian in focus, even if Quakers do still appear on it from time to time.

I also have a non-Quaker blog called EVOLT where I talk about politics, culture, etc. Politically I’m a sort of pragmatic post-anarchist progressive libertarian, and I think it’s important to be an activist but to not to be purist or anti-fun about it. [written June 2007]

You can contact me at zach.a@quakerism.net, or in other ways here.

More on this blog

[written early 2007, slightly outdated] My views are generally radical as Quaker opinions go, in that I think the longstanding trend of Quakerism becoming less dogmatic and superstitious should continue. I think that just as we in the liberal branch have come to accept accept non-Christians and people who don’t dress like the Amish (as we eventually learned to do), we should also accept non-theists and people who don’t believe in pacifism. Over time, I think the Society of Friends, or something like it, should become a spiritual community that would be a sort of spiritual remix of the scientific community. I think corporately this would involve putting more emphasis on the serious practice of Quaker meditation/”worship” and rather less on everything else.

I say “the Society of Friends or something like it” because I’m more concerned about that kind of community existing than about what it’s called. The Experiment with Light seems promising as an alternative channel to pursue this. Scientific organizations provide inspiration in a different way. We’ll see how way opens.

But I believe something like the above makes up much of the innermost direction of the liberal branch already, so I think it will prove best in the fullness of time for the liberal branch to move further away from other branches of Friends, whose religions are quite different from this.

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  • Kevin: The ads on the tube seem like a wonderful, non-intrusive way of informing the public. I happen to get immediately turned...
  • David M.: Your quaker.org.uk link doesn't work. Great picture, by the way.
  • Jim: I, like many humans, feel a need to connect. In my case, that connection must include growing ever more inclusive of t...
  • Judy: In response to Nils, I think we may have met through NYM; I'm in Milwaukee. Anyway, you might want to look at the ...
  • Michael: Friend Zach, I am very grateful to you for sharing your post-Quaker, nontheist quest in this blog--as well as in your...
  • Nils: Zach, I find this idea, of creating a positive alternative to 'magical-thinking' religion, very appealing, even thoug...
  • Kirk: Over and over, I see Quakers as emphasizing process over product, and that's a good thing. But process is much harder to...


  • There is a joke about the Russians, sometimes told by Russians. A young man from the provinces, inspired by a local doctor, travels to St. Petersburg because he wants to study “life.” He reads, he writes and eventually he enters medical school. On the first day of class the professor enters the hushed auditorium and announces, “Gentlemen, today we will discuss the pancreas.” The young man leaps from his seat, enraged. “The pancreas? How dare you mention the pancreas! We are not here to study the pancreas, we are here to study ... LIFE!”

    Mark Lilla

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