Quaker Religious Thought


Rhiannon Grant


This paper was first presented at the American Academy of Religion in Boston in 2017. What follows incorporates some responses to questions which were asked there. In particular, it seems appropriate to preface the main text with a personal comment. The respondent for the session, Sa’ed Atshan, asked about the speakers’ relationships to Quakerism, and I answered that although in this paper I say that I am describing possible arguments rather than real positions taken by Quakers, I am a Quaker and I would—at the time of writing!— make points something like these if asked to describe my personal understanding. This paper focuses on what can coherently be said within a Quaker theological framework, but my comments here, especially those regarding gender, also arise from my ongoing process of listening carefully and prayerfully to the experiences of trans and nonbinary Friends. At that level, this paper can also be taken as a contribution to the discussion it describes.



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