Cherice Bock

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The debate over whether or not Quakers should be categorized as Protestant rages among scholars in Quaker studies as well, although the question is generally posed in the form of original influences on early Quaker leaders. Scholars differ about whether Quakerism grew out of Puritanism, or whether it appeared as a mystical tradition, springing up through spiritual inspiration rather than as a logical evolution of thinking from one group to the next. A third viewpoint sees Quakerism as prophetic, combining mystical personal experience of Jesus Christ and connection to the biblical call for justice through love. This third understanding combines the other two, seeing Friends as participants in furthering the Reformation, as well as showing similarities to mystical traditions to which they are not directly connected except by biblical and spiritual ties.

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