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Abstract

Thomas D. Hamm (Earlham College) argues that a self-conscious, liberal Quakerism emerged in North America between 1790 and 1920. It had three characteristics. The first was a commitment to liberty of conscience. The second was pronounced doubts about orthodox beliefs, such as the divinity of Christ. Finally, liberal Friends saw themselves as holding beliefs fully consistent with early Quakerism. Stirrings appeared as early as the 1790s. Hicksite Friends in the 1820s, although perceiving themselves as traditionalists, manifested all of these characteristics. When other Hicksites took such stances in even more radical directions after 1830, however, bitter divisions ensued. Orthodox Friends were slower to develop liberal thought. It emerged after 1870, as higher education became central to the Gurneyite branch of Orthodox Quakerism, and as some Gurneyites responded to influences in the larger society, and to the changes introduced by the advent of revivalism, by embracing modernist Protestantism.

In: Brill Research Perspectives in Quaker Studies

Abstract

This work brings the fields of Christian theologies of atonement and reconciliation and Liberal Quaker theology into dialogue, and lays the foundation for developing an original Liberal Quaker reconciliation theology. This dialogue focuses specifically on the metaphorical language employed to describe the relationship of interdependence between humans and God, which both traditions hold as integral to their conceptions of human and divine existence. It focuses on these areas: the sin of human division and exclusion; atonement and reunification of humans and God as a response to sin; and the metaphors Liberal Quaker use to describe this interdependent relationship, specifically the metaphor of Light. This unique approach develops an original model of reconciliatory interdependence between humans and God that is rooted in both Christological and Universalist Liberal Quaker metaphorical and theological categories and utilizes the Liberal Quaker language of God as interdependent Light towards a new theology.

In: Brill Research Perspectives in Quaker Studies
Dutch Religious History in the Early Modern Era
The Dutch Republic was the most religiously diverse land in early modern Europe, gaining an international reputation for toleration. In Reformation and the Practice of Toleration, Benjamin Kaplan explains why the Protestant Reformation had this outcome in the Netherlands and how people of different faiths managed subsequently to live together peacefully. Bringing together fourteen essays by the author, the book examines the opposition of so-called Libertines to the aspirations of Calvinist reformers for uniformity and discipline. It analyzes the practical arrangements by which multiple religious groups were accommodated. It traces the dynamics of religious life in Utrecht and other mixed communities. And it explores the relationships that developed between people of different faiths, especially in ‘mixed’ marriages.

Abstract

Quakerism emerged in the seventeenth century, during a time when philosophical debates about the nature of knowledge led to the emergence of modern science. The Quakers, in some conversation with early modern philosophers, developed a distinctive epistemology rooted in their concept of the Light Within, which functioned as a special internal sense giving access to divine insight. The Light Within provided illumination both to properly understand the Bible and to ‘read’ the Book of Nature. This epistemology can be thought of as an expanded experiential empiricism that integrates our ethical and religious knowledge with our scientific knowledge. This epistemology has carried through in Quaker thought to the present day and can be helpful in the context of today’s epistemological crisis.

In: Brill Research Perspectives in Quaker Studies

Abstract

This work is a sociological study of Quakers, which investigates the impact that sectarianism has had on identity construction within the Religious Society of Friends in Ireland. The research highlights individual Friends’ complex and hybrid cultural, national and theological identities, mirrored by the Society’s corporate identity. This publication focuses specifically on examples of political and theological hybridity. These hybrid identities resulted in tensions that impact on relationships between Friends and the wider organisation. How Friends negotiate and accommodate these diverse identities is explored. It is argued that Irish Quakers prioritise ‘relational unity’ and have developed a distinctive approach to complex identity management. It is asserted that in the two Irish states, ‘Quaker’ represents a meta-identity, which is counter-cultural in its non-sectarianism, although this is more problematic within the organisation. Furthermore, by modelling an alternative, non-sectarian identity, Quakers in Ireland contribute to building capacity for transformation from oppositional, binary identities to more fluid and inclusive ones.

In: Brill Research Perspectives in Quaker Studies
In Parish Clergy Wives in Elizabethan England, Anne Thompson shifts the emphasis from the institution of clerical marriage to the people and personalities involved. Women who have hitherto been defined by their supposed obscurity and unsuitability are shown to have anticipated and exhibited the character, virtues, and duties associated with the archetypal clergy wife of later centuries.
Through adept use of an extensive and eclectic range of archival material, this book offers insights into the perception and lived experience of ministers’ wives. In challenging accepted views on the social status of clergy wives and their role and reception within the community, new light is thrown on a neglected but crucial aspect of religious, social, and women’s history.
After the State and the Church, the most well organized membership system of medieval and early modern Europe was the confraternity. In cities, towns, and villages it would have been difficult for someone not to be a member of a confraternity, the recipient of its charity, or aware of its presence in the community. In A Companion to Medieval and Early Modern Confraternities, Konrad Eisenbichler brings together an international group of scholars to examine confraternities from various perspectives: their origins and development, their devotional practices, their charitable activities, and their contributions to literature, music, and art. The result is a picture of confraternities as important venues for the acquisition of spiritual riches, material wealth, and social capital.

Contributors to this volume: Alyssa Abraham, Davide Adamoli, Christopher F. Black, Dominika Burdzy, David D’Andrea, Konrad Eisenbichler, Anna Esposito, Federica Francesconi, Marina Gazzini, Jonathan Glixon, Colm Lennon, William R. Levin, Murdo J. MacLeod, Nerida Newbigin, Dylan Reid, Gervase Rosser, Nicholas Terpstra, Paul Trio, Anne-Laure Van Bruaene, Beata Wojciechowska, and Danilo Zardin.
Quakers and Native Americans examines the history of interactions between Quakers and Native Americans (American Indians). Fourteen scholarly essays cover the period from the 1650s to the twentieth century. American Indians often guided the Quakers by word and example, demanding that they give content to their celebrated commitment to peace. As a consequence, the Quakers’ relations with American Indians has helped define their sense of mission and propelled their rise to influence in the U.S. Quakers have influenced Native American history as colonists, government advisors, and educators, eventually promoting boarding schools, assimilation and the suppression of indigenous cultures. The final two essays in this collection provide Quaker and American Indian perspectives on this history, bringing the story up to the present day.

Contributors include: Ray Batchelor, Lori Daggar, John Echohawk, Stephanie Gamble, Lawrence M. Hauptman, Allison Hrabar, Thomas J. Lappas, Carol Nackenoff, Paula Palmer, Ellen M. Ross, Jean R. Soderlund, Mary Beth Start, Tara Strauch, Marie Balsley Taylor, Elizabeth Thompson, and Scott M. Wert.
The Catholic Nobility in Utrecht and Guelders, c. 1580–1702
Patrons of the Old Faith is the first full-length study on the Catholic nobility in the Dutch Republic. Based on a detailed prosopographical analysis and through the examination of their marriage strategies, interaction with Protestants, religiosity and contributions to the Holland Mission, Jaap Geraerts shows how the behaviour of the Catholic nobility was highly distinctive and differed from their co-religionists and Protestant peers as it was influenced by a specific set of noble and Catholic values. Due to the synthesis of their noble and confessional identities, the Dutch Catholic nobility in Utrecht and Guelders acted as patrons of their faith and were instrumental for the survival of Catholicism in the Dutch Republic.
Responses to Religious Pluralism in Reformation Europe
Topographies of Tolerance and Intolerance challenges the narrative of a simple progression of tolerance and the establishment of confessional identity during the early modern period. These essays explore the lived experiences of religious plurality, providing insights into the developments and drawbacks of religious coexistence in this turbulent period. The essays examine three main groups of actors—the laity, parish clergy, and unacknowledged religious minorities—in pre- and post-Westphalian Europe. Throughout this period, the laity navigated their own often-fluid religious beliefs, the expectations of conformity held by their religious and political leaders, and the complex realities of life that involved interactions with co-religious and non-co-religious family, neighbors, and business associates on a daily basis.

Contributors are: James Blakeley, Amy Nelson Burnett, Victoria Christman, Geoffrey Dipple, Timothy G. Fehler, Emily Fisher Gray, Benjamin J. Kaplan, David M. Luebke, David Mayes, Marjorie Elizabeth Plummer, William Bradford Smith, and Shira Weidenbaum.