As of 2021, Brill Research Perspectives in Quaker Studies is no longer published as a journal by Brill, but will continue as a book series. This wide-ranging and fascinating series supplements a growing catalogue of historical, sociological, and theological scholarship in the thriving and interdisciplinary field of Quaker Studies. Individual articles will speak to the broad spectrum of Quaker belief and practice, to the significance of the history of Quaker traditions, and to the many areas in which Quaker Studies contributes to other fields in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Work on Quakerism impacts both wider church history and theological debate, as well as current themes in the sociology of religion. The Quaker attitude to spiritual equality also engages women’s studies scholars, and the Quaker commitment to peace and social justice relates to wider issues of political theory and peace studies. As the field of Quaker Studies continues to grow and redefine itself, this series will make a significant contribution to making up-to-date scholarship accessible to specialists as well as to a broad academic community.
In this introductory volume to Brill’s series on Quaker Studies, Quaker Studies, An Overview: The Current State of the Field, C. Wess Daniels, Robynne Rogers Healey, and Jon Kershner investigate Quaker Studies, divided into the three fields of history, theology and philosophy, and sociology.
With a focus on schisms, transatlantic networks, colonialism, abolition, gender and equality, and pacifism from Quaker origins onward, Healey explores the rich diversity and complexity of research and interpretation that has emerged in Quaker history.
In his chapter, Kershner explores comparisons and divergences in contemporary Quaker theology and philosophy. Special attention is paid to Quaker biblical hermeneutics, mysticism, ethics, epistemology and Global Quakerism.
Daniels looks at the sociology of Quakerism as a new field of study that has only recently begun to be explored and developed. This chapter surveys the field of sociological work done within Quakerism from the 1960s to the present day.