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Quaker Studies

Abstract

In this paper we explore the communicative function of silence among British Quakers and British Theraviida Buddhists. Both examples link silence to stillness with the implication that non-activity is a means of evoking sacred presence. It is proposed that such an evocation is achieved through attaching aesthetic and ethical value to the performance of stillness and silence. Furthermore, we suggest that the identity of each of these religious communities is, in many respects, defined through the emphasis that is placed on the existential and moral significance of silence.

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