Over the centuries, Quakers have read non-Quakers regarded as mystics. This study explores the reception of mystical texts among the Religious Society of Friends, focusing in particular on Robert Barclay and John Cassian, Sarah Lynes Grubb and Jeanne Guyon, Caroline Stephen and Johannes Tauler, Rufus Jones and Jacob Boehme, and Teresina Havens and Buddhist texts selected by her. Points of connection include the nature of apophatic prayer, suffering and annihilation of self, mysticisms of knowing and of loving, liberal Protestant attitudes toward theosophical systems, and interfaith encounter.
Michael Birkel, Ph.D. (1986), Harvard University, is Professor of Christian Spirituality at the Earlham School of Religion. He has published books and articles on Quaker spirituality and theology, including Silence and Witness (Orbis, 2004).
All interested in Quakers studies, spirituality, and western mysticism.