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Quaker Studies

Abstract

Melvin Endy argues that George Fox and William Penn shared similar goals for Quakerism, and that in light of their close working relationship, scholars who argue for significant differences between Fox's and Penn's views of Quakerism must account for Fox's failure to criticise Penn's views. This paper proposes that the lynchpin of Fox's understanding of Quakerism was an empathetic reading of the Bible, so that the authority of Scripture was internalised. In Penn's writings, the Bible is appealed to as an external authority. Because Fox lacked sophistication in the relevant areas of thought, he was unable to identify the core and source of his thought or to recognise that Penn was working from a biblical hermeneutics significantly divergent from his own.

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