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Quaker Studies

Abstract

This paper is focused on a survey of Quakers who regard Buddhism as the major source of their spirituality, with the aim of establishing how it is possible to be a 'Buddhist Quaker'. It will be argued that there are two distinct groups of survey respondents: 'Quaker Buddhists' and 'semi-Buddhist Quakers' who differ in their self-identification. Tendencies and influences within both groups will be discussed along with their respective choice of spiritual resources, their meditation practices and their belief patterns. It will be observed that Quaker Buddhists have established stronger roots in Buddhism, whereas semi-Buddhist Quakers remain closer to British Quaker orthodoxy. This observation will be explained in the context of respondents' self-identification, and the character and degree of the whole sample's dual identity will be discussed.

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