•  
  •  
 
Quaker Studies

Abstract

In the first part of this paper I explore the possibility of identifying a Quaker aesthetic through the concepts 'plain' and 'plaining'. I begin with an examination of the importance of 'the plain' as product and practice to seventeenth-century Friends and briefly outline its enduring importance to Quakers. Friends, however, were not the first group to adopt the plain style which is better understood when located in its broader historical context. For Quakers, the plain is ethic as well as aesthetic, partially grounding all Quaker testimonies. Given the well-documented aestheticization of contemporary life, I argue that the Quaker plain and plaining have a continuing relevance, representing a moral, aesthetic and religious critique of consumer culture, distinct from those which are economically and politically motivated.

Share

COinS
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.