Quaker Religious Thought


Welcome to the Spring issue of Quaker Religious Thought! In November, the Quaker Theological Discussion Group (QTDG) convened in San Diego, CA, along with the American Academy of Religion. Papers from one of the two QTDG sessions, “Quakers Reading Scripture,” are printed in this issue. As the name suggests, the panel reflected on the ways Quakers have read the Bible. Michael Birkel’s article on Margaret Fell shows how early Friends practiced an associative form of reading the Bible that informed the symbols and images so important to their spiritual experiences. Paul Anderson continued the investigation of early Quaker practices by exploring how Quakers through history have read the Bible with the Spirit for formation, and, importantly, how this reading is consistent with the biblical text’s own teachings on how it is to be read. Lutheran theologian, David Hahn, treated the QTDG audience to an investigation of how listening to the Scriptural word can open one up to dynamic spiritual interplay. Hahn’s article uses an intersectional hermeneutic to name and confront the types of privilege one brings to Scripture and tradition, which limit the full impact of an authentic experience of dwelling. The final article in this issue comes from a paper given at the Quaker Studies Program Unit session at the American Academy of Religion. There, Cherice Bock confronted the legacy of Quaker social and ecological misdeeds. Bock argues that Friends can helpfully adopt the model of “watershed discipleship,” which encourages a position of being discipled by the place where one finds oneself. We also have two book reviews, one on propheticism and one on sustainability. Howard Macy reviews Margery Post-Abbotts, Walk Humbly, Serve Boldly: Modern Quakers as Everyday Prophets and Kevin J. O’Brien reviews Cherice Bock’s and Stephen Potthoff’s edited volume, Quakers, Creation Care and Sustainability. Both of these important volumes reflect on what it means to be faithful Friends in the contemporary moment, and I trust you will find the reviews engaging. In addition to introducing the articles in this issue, I want to tell you about some changes we are making to QRT. In an effort to be more financially sustainable we have modified our pricing structure 4 (see the inside cover of this issue). Note that in the very near future you will be able to subscribe and renew at www.qtdg.org. We are also in the process of signing a licensing contract with ATLA Serials, a scholarly content database found in many libraries. Being included in ATLA will make the work of QRT more easily discoverable to students and researchers, and help publicize the contributions our authors make to Friends and to religious studies in general. In addition, we have also expanded our editorial board. I want to especially welcome Howard Macy, Madeleine Pennington, Christy Randazzo, and Cherice Bock. These Friends have a substantial track-record of scholarship and leadership in Quaker studies, and I am grateful they are lending their talents to QRT. Please enjoy this issue! — Jon R. Kershner Editor



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