October 1995 Archives

Testimonies Course

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This Is Our Testimony to the World

A 7-week course on Quaker social testimonies (aka "Quakerism 201")


This Is Our Testimony to the World     Week 1:

What Is a Testimony?

A "Testimony" is what Friends refer to as how we believe people should be living their lives in a particular area as an expression of their faith.  It grows directly out of the idea of Gospel Order, or God's vision of how a faithful community should be shaped.  (See Sandra Cronk's Pendle Hill pamphlet of this title).  God's hope is that Friends will live in certain ways with each other as part of the beloved community.  This dream of a way of living with each other spills over into the way Friends live in the surrounding non-Quaker society.

The specific testimonies have gradually evolved over time.  There is no fixed or universally agreed-upon list of testimonies.  Different people like to use different terms.  Many overlap.

A testimony is a way of approaching a particular lifestyle issue that is widely agreed upon by Friends.  This consensus is reflected in its inclusion (in various forms) in many yearly meeting disciplines.  The evolution of testimonies can be traced by reading Yearly Meeting disciplines over time.  New "testimonies" get added.  Old ones become de-emphasized or may even be dropped entirely.

A testimony grows organically from an individual Friend's "concern" or religious leading about a particular issue.  This concern may (or may not!) by adopted or supported by the individual Friend's monthly and yearly meeting.  The individual may communicate her/his individual concern to other Friends through writing or (in theory at least with the approval of her or his meeting) through "travel in the ministry".  John Woolman is the best-known example of a Friend struggling to share widely his personal concerns with Friends around this country and in England.  His individual concern eventually led (after a very long period of disunity) to widespread agreement that Friends should not hold slaves.

Prior to the 20th century Meetings often wrestled with individual Friends who failed to live in keeping with the testimonies that the wider Quaker community agreed were essential.  A humorous example was illustrated in the film "Friendly Persuasion" when elders went to investigate rumors that a meeting member owned an organ. This type of "eldering" is very rare today.  If most Friends fail to live out a given testimony, it becomes hollow and is eventually dropped from our disciplines.

Reflection questions:

·      What testimonies do you think are most important to Haverford Friends today?

·      What testimonies are so obvious to non-Friends that many non-Friends identify these with Quaker membership?  (Would the list have been different a century ago?)

·      How does the Meeting communicate what it holds to be important about lifestyle to its children, its adult members, to prospective members & to the surrounding non-Quaker community?

·      Are there any activities that would be likely today to elicit some form of counsel or eldering from the meeting?  Are there any that could lead to disownment?

·      How actively does the meeting explore together its responses to the Yearly Meeting queries that address our testimonies?

·      How receptive do you feel the meeting is to new concerns that arise within the membership?

 

Faith & Practice: Extracts # 195-214, 247-8, 260 (pp. 145-64). Also: pp. 65-7, 74-5.  

Biblical passages relating to leadings and being called by God to a prophetic role.  1 Samuel 3, 1 Kings 19: 9-16, 1 Kings 19: 19-21, Isaiah 6:1-9, Jeremiah 1:1-10, Amos 3:1-8, 7:10-15, Joel 2:28.

 

This Is Our Testimony to the World    Week 2:

The Testimony on Integrity (truthspeaking, oaths, plain speech)

Early Friends considered it critical to live in a way that reflected their sense of integrity.  This meant speaking truth at all times.  It meant trying to find ways to keep scrupulously to an ethical way of life and to do nothing to hide one's convictions or status as a Friend even at great cost.

Early applications:

Refusal to take oaths ("But I say swear not at all, but let your yea by yea and your nay be nay" - Matt 5:23)

Plain speech 1) "plural address" (use of "thee" & "thou" to all persons), 2) names of days & months

Refusing to hold Quaker worship in secret even if this meant imprisonment

Speaking the truth to others even when it got one in trouble

"Wear thy sword as long as thou canst." (Fox's statement to Wm Penn)

Refusal to pay tithes to support a state church Friends did not agree with

Commercial honesty (e.g. refusal to haggle prices) led to commercial success

Other possible applications of this testimony:

Refusing to take "loyalty oaths" during McCarthy period

Cheating on income taxes

Software use without purchase

Honesty when given the wrong change at a store

"Affairs" -refusing deception in personal relationships, refusing to collude with others doing this.

Reflection Questions

·      Do you ever "cheat" on your income taxes?

·      Does the meeting discuss issues of personal ethics together?

·      Would you ever tell a friend that you disagree with something she or he has done that is dishonest or unethical?

·      Is being scrupulously honest as important today as it was in the 17th century?

·      Where might you not be strictly commited to truthtelling (e.g. hiding runaway slaves, Anne Frank)?

·      Do you think Friends still have a public reputation for honesty? 

 

Faith & Practice:   Extracts #270-97 (pp.167-74)  Query #12 on Integrity & Simplicity(p. 214)

Biblical passages:  Matt 5: 10-11 (8th beatitude), Luke 9:23-25 (Take up your cross & follow Christ), Matthew 5:33-37 & James 5:12 (on oaths)

This Is Our Testimony to the World  Week 3:

Simplicity (or "Purity")

This is probably the least understood of the Quaker testimonies.  It overlaps, to some extent, with virtually all the other testimonies (integrity, equality, peace, family life, community, unity with nature).

The heart of the testimony involves living one's life in a manner that enables one to stay focused on God -  to avoid activities which get in the way of a disciplined daily life of prayer and inward attentiveness to the motions of the Divine Spirit. 

This has been an important aspect of spiritual faithfulness in other religious traditions, e.g.

--St. Francis of Assisi - gave up wealth and his personal possessions to be closer to God

--Brother Lawrence was a monk who tried to pray without ceasing even while doing housework.

--Thich Nhat Nahn and other Zen Buddhists are keenly aware of how certain activities distract us from a spiritually grounded life.

Early applications:           

--Plain dress - taken up primarily to avoid ostentation and frivolity associated with "worldly fashions".  (Margaret Fell referred to opposition to bright clothing as a "silly testimony". See Extract #255.)

--Rejection (in common with the Puritans) of "world's" holidays / feast days.  Until the 20th century many Friends schools were open on Christmas Day!

--Along similar lines: rejection of musical instruments, choral singing, dancing, plays

--Sexual faithfulness (no sex outside of traditional marriage)

--Requirement to be married to a Friend

Later applications:           

--Gambling

--Drugs and alcohol use / abuse

Other possibilities           

--TV, internet abuse

--Wearing suit & ties.  (Jeans & T-shirt as "plain dress"?)

--Personal spiritual disciplines

--Fasting

Reflection Questions:

·      What kinds of activities (diet, clothing, place) help you to feel centered / grounded in God / to hear God's voice speaking to you?

·      What kinds of activities interfere with your ability to pray / to hear God's voice / to feel present with God?

·      What kinds of possessions seem to interfere with your ability to live in God?

·      What dangers do you see addictions playing in your spiritual life / the integrity of your relations with others?

·      Do you talk about these issues with your family?  Your friends?  The meeting?

Faith & Practice: Extracts #225-40, 255 (pp. 155ff). pp. 70-71. Query #12 (p. 214)

Biblical passages: Eccles. 5:1-7 (2b often quoted by early Friends), 6:11, 9:17.  Matt 6:25-34 (lilies of the field), Matt 5:8 (5th beatitude: pure in spirit), Luke 16:12-4  (on serving 2 masters cf. Matt 6:23)


This Is Our Testimony to the World   Week 4:

Equality (including antislavery, women's rights, social justice)

 

This testimony grows from the conviction that God is present in every life.  It is essential to make certain that no oppressive assumptions or social structure interfere with the ability of God to find expression through each precious person.  This means:

  1. Treating each person we meet equally.
  2. Allowing each person a voice in meeting life and (by extension) in the larger body politic.
  3. Ending social institutions that by their nature oppress or exploit others.
  4. Becoming sensitive to the ways in which our possessions and lifestyle result in harm to others.

 

Early applications:           

Hat honor (still enforced in courtrooms!)

            Honorifics in speech (e.g. plural address to superiors)

            Allowing women to take active role in church leadership (revolutionary at the time)

Later applications:             

Slavery

            Women's suffrage

Concern about how some possessions & lifestyles exploit / harm others (Woolman)

Prison reform (extended to prison visitors, meetings in prisons, Restorative Justice movement, AVP, opposition to capital punishment)

Recent extensions:           

Rights of disabled people

            Resistance against ageism: oppression & disenfranchisement of children & the elderly

            Sexual orientation (discrimination against gays)

Other possibilities:            

Socialism (there is a Quaker Socialists organization in the UK.)

            Use of titles, degrees, current honorifics (e.g. "Your Honor", "The Honorable...")

            Rights of children

 

Reflection Questions:

·      What differences in empowerment do you perceive as persisting within the life of the meeting? Of Yearly Meeting (the regional organization of Friends)?

·      What is the impact of being a relatively affluent faith community in a city and a world with so many who are severely disenfranchised by their poverty?

·      Do we live off the back of others?

·      Is living a simpler lifestyle a witness to the surrounding society that furthers change?  A personal ethical act regardless of effectiveness?  A deceptive luxury for those working to effect change?

Faith & Practice Extracts #243-6, 249-50, 254, 268-9 (on pp.159-67). p. 75-6, 80.   

Queries # 6 & 7 (on pp. 210-11).

Biblical roots: Eccles. 6:10-12, Amos 2:6-7 & 5:21-24, Isaiah 11:3-5, Luke 18: 18-30 (rich young ruler), Acts 2: 42-7, 4: 32-7 (on sharing of goods in the early church), Matt 5:6 (4th beatitude), Galatians 3:28, James 5:1-5.


This Is Our Testimony to the World    Week 5:

The Peace Testimony

Rationale for the peace testimony:

Initially "We do not fight with outward weapons." (cf.rejection of outward sacraments).  Separation from

    the world & its struggles.   "My kingdom is not of this world". "I'm not that kind of Messiah"

Fox also alludes to "James doctrine" (James 4) attributing "lust" (greed) as a cause of war. 

    Woolman extends this idea to focus on the seeds of war in possessions and lifestyles.

Later religious justifications:             

            Admonitions of Jesus ("Turn the other cheek... Love those who hate you.")

Killing violates "that of God in every one." (John Gallery suggests that the spiritual root of the

    peace testimony is God in ourselves rather than in the others.)

Political reasons

Wastefulness of military spending

Insidious effects of hatred begetting hatred & violence begetting violence

Importance of developing international understanding and institutions

 

Evolution of focus: Testimony was originally limited to personal non-participation in military & violence

First publicly articulated in 1660 to avoid confusion with the Fifth Monarchy Insurrection.

(How do you feel about Fox attributing the death or illness of some of those who persecuted him as being evidence of God's punishment?)

After Friends withdrew from public government (in Pennsylvania due to conflicts regarding the French & Indian War), Friends generally expressed neutrality toward governmental decisions, similar to Amish position today.

John Woolman: Extended Fox's ideas from James 4 on greed as a root of violence to the "seeds of war"

in personal possessions & lifestyle. 

He also questioned paying taxes for war (similar to refusing tithes)

20th century extensions of peace testimony: 

"Political peacemaking" - organizing opposition to government war policies (including conscription)

The movement to abolish capital punishment

Conflict resolution work in communities

Alternatives to Violence Project. Started by Quakers, especially in prisons - holistic personal change

Vegetarianism.   An extension of peace testimony, right sharing of world resources Unity with Nature, care for our bodies. (Much more common among Friends in England, New Zealand & Australia.)

Struggle against violence towards women

Ending Use of Physical Restraints (in care of the elderly) - Friends life-care communities & nursing homes have led the way in pioneering alternatives. 

Violence towards the environment (treating all creation with deep respect just as other people)

Reflection questions:

·      What approach do you think the Meeting should take to a member who is joining the military?

·      Should our children be playing with war toys? Violent games? Watching media with violent content?

·      What attitudes or institutions do you see as holding the seeds of war in our society? In our own lives?

·      Do the affluent (by world standards) lifestyles of U.S. Friends contradict our testimony against war?

·      Where did the peace movement go? What can Friends do to witness more actively to peace today?

Faith & Practice Extracts # 215-24 (pp. 151-5), 230.  Query #8.

Bible roots: Isaiah 11:6-9, Micah 4:2-4,  Matt 5:38-48, 26:51-2, Romans 12: 9-21, James 4: 1-3


This Is Our Testimony to the World    Week 6:

The Testimony on Earthcare (aka "Unity with Nature")

This is the youngest of the widely agreed-upon testimonies.  Many Yearly Meetings have passed statements in recent years on this issue.  Many have added queries and other passages their disciplines.  Many Friends around the country have in the past couple of decades felt "deeply exercised" about this issue.

This represents an extension of our testimonies on peace and equality to other creatures besides humans and to the natural world in general.  It arises from a far-reaching re-evaluation of traditional theological assumptions that saw humans as being superior to and dominant over the rest of creation.  Grows from seeing humans as a small part of and our own future intimately intertwined with the entire planet and natural order.  The term "stewardship" is a fine traditional Christian term (and we humans have certainly been poor stewards of the earth!)  Many of the Quaker pioneers in this area preferred the term "unity with nature" in order to move away from the old concept that humans are above the rest of creation.

This new "testimony" is seen as involving both profound inward shifts in consciousness and spirituality and radical changes in personal and political behaviors, such as:

 

--Cutting back significantly on levels of consumption & energy use below what is considered "normal" in the USA

--Environmentally sound practices (recycling, cutting water use)

--Eating lower on the food chain

--Personal limits to family size

--Environmentally aware investing and purchasing.

 

Also involves heavy involvement in environmental organizations and political advocacy to affect local and national policies in areas such as:

 

--World population growth

--Increased support for public transportation, heavier taxation on fossil fuels

--Laws that make strong economic incentives for recycling (common in Western Europe)

--Protection of undeveloped wilderness areas

--Protection of oceans and marine mammals

--Laws to protect endangered species.

 

Reflection Questions on Stewardship of Creation:

·      What steps has your family taken to live in ways that protect the future of this planet and all its creatures?

·      What has the meeting done to change its corporate practice (e.g. energy use, recycling, investing, etc.) in this area?

·      Has the meeting carried out witness on this testimony to the surrounding community? Could it?

·      Do you see this testimony conflicting with our testimony of equality (e.g. in terms of conflicting priorities regarding development and social justice for the poor?)

 

Faith & Practice Extracts #263 & 265 (pp.165-6)   pp. 81. Query #10 (on pg. 213)   Bible: Gen. 1-2, Lev. 25: 1-8 & 11-12; 26: 4-6 & 34-35, Psalms 24:1 & 104, Job 38-40, Matt. 5:5, Rom. 8:18-27.


This Is Our Testimony to the World   Week 7:

Continuing Revelation: How new testimonies are born...

Friends believe that God continues to speak to us today.  This may lead us to hear new divine promptings and requirements of us as a Quaker movement.  Testimonies begin as the concerns of individual Friends.  These concerns grow into full-blown testimonies as they are gradually accepted as "divinely-ordered" by wider and wider corporate bodies of Friends.  Here are 3 examples of testimonies that gradually grew into widespread acceptance by Friends:

1.    The application of the testimony on equality to the issue of slavery.

2.    The extension of the peace testimony from personal non-participation in war to public stands against warmaking by secular governments.

3.    The growing sense among Friends that the whole relationship between humanity and the natural world has deep spiritual implications.

If God continues to speak to us, people may also feel led away from positions that were once widely or even universally accepted among us.  Here are testimonies that were very important to early Friends but which are no longer widely supported:

  1. Plain Speech.  Became obsolete because "you" is now used in addressing everyone.  Still relevant perhaps in other languages (such as French) that continue to use plural versus singular 2nd person usage to reflect differences of status ("vous" vs. "tu").
  2. Plain Dress.
  3. Against Payment of Tithes.
  4. Names of Months & Days of the Week. 
  5. Times & Seasons - Friends objected to popular holidays like Christmas and Easter in part due to association with pre-Christian pagan traditions and partly to affirm the holiness of every day.  Quaker schools and businesses used to be open on Christmas day. 
  6. Instrumental Music & Choral Singing.  (Although many Friends are still ambivalent about choral singing during Meeting for Worship.)
  7. Dancing.  When I was a child, folk dancing had to be called "folk games" when Lake Erie Yearly Meeting held its annual session at the Friends Boarding School in Barnesville, Ohio.
  8. Plays - Associated by Puritans & early Friends with sexual promiscuity & "frivolity".

Possible "New" Testimonies

  1. Embodiment.  Is it possible for us to develop a new vision of "rightly ordered" sexuality beyond the traditional "it's only ok if it's inside heterosexual marriage"?  (See the books of James Nelson.)
  2. Vegetarianism
  3. TV & Video Games.  Some Quaker families refuse to have these in their homes. Others try to place sharp limits on amount of time and quality of use.
  4. Music - as being the birthright of all rather than just the "experts"

Reflection Questions:

  • Are there issues of deep importance to meeting members not yet included in a "testimony"? Are their issues that you sense Friends here would be very reluctant to look at?
  • How do you feel a person is received when they bring deeply held concerns to the meeting around which there is not yet any clear corporate agreement?
  • Are there other old assumptions & values that Friends are holding on to that God may be inviting us to let go of?

A free bonus: The Testimony on Community (Care for Others)

 

This testimony is closely related to the testimony on equality but focuses more on caring about and caring for those who are suffering or in need.  It is interesting that in English the word "care" refers both to an emotion (having tender feelings towards another) and an act of help towards another (as in taking care of someone, caretaker, or healthcare).  Some biblical scholars have suggested that the 2nd beatitude ("Blessed are those who mourn") focuses on the capacity to feel others' pain while the 5th beatitude ("Blessed are the merciful") focuses on those who are willing to take care in practical ways of others' needs (see Matt. 5: 4 & 7).

The first couple of generations of Friends did not have a formal membership.  They were well aware, however, of who was part of their spiritual family and were deeply committed to "taking care of their own".

It was not difficult for later generations to extend the idea of care for those within the faith community to others who were suffering in the surrounding society, including:

Slaves

The mentally ill

Prison inmates (including those facing execution or torture)

The poor and chronically economically disadvantaged

War refugees

Victims of genocide

People with AIDS, etc.

 

In previous centuries this concern led many Friends to individual efforts to provide relief to those in need.  During the past century Friends tended to focus increasingly on efforts to effect change in the social and economic systems that perpetuate suffering.  Groups like the Catholic Worker have emphasized the need to continue efforts to directly aid those who are suffering in our communities.

 

Reflection Questions:

·      How can we open our hearts more to others who are suffering?

·      When you see images of suffering on TV or in films, do you feel empowered to action or immobilized and overwhelmed by the pain you are watching and discouragement about the possibility of change?

·      Do you perceive your meeting as being a place where members feel accepted and cared about?

·      In the time of the early Church, it was said that non-Christians marveled at how Christians loved one another.  Do you think non-Friends perceive us this way?

·      Does the caring we experience within our faith community create a wall that interferes with caring towards those outside or does it spill over into love for those around our community?

Faith & Practice:  Extracts #241-2, 251-2, 256-9, 261-2 (pp. 159-65). 

Biblical roots: Matt 5:4, 7 (2nd & 5th beatitudes), 25: 31-46 (the "works of mercy"), Acts 2: 42-7, 4: 32-7, 6:1-7, 11:29-30, 1 John 4:7-21 (you can't love God without loving your brothers).

Additional readings:  Howard Brinton, Friends for 300 Years, pp.  126-9, 170-4.

Parker Palmer, A Place Called Community, PH Pamphlet #212, 1977 (online


READING LIST

Everyone should have a copy of Faith & Practice of Phila. YM for the class.  This will be our main "text".  If you read nothing else, try to read at least a few of the Extracts from Writings of Friends for each class and choose one that especially appeals, puzzles or bothers you to read out loud to the group.  Please bring your copy to class if possible.

The Bible:  These are readings that shed light on the biblical roots of each testimony we are studying.  Many of these were critical in shaping the views of early Friends on these issues. 

A great collection of writings on this subject (Leonard Kenworthy Friends Face the World) is, sadly, out-of-print. There may be a copy on your family bookshelf. Used copies areb available via Amazon.com.

There are many Pendle Hill pamphlets on this subject. I can order copies from the bookstore if participants would like to buy some of these. Here's 4 great ones. (Others are online at www.pendlehill.org/pendle_hill_pamphlets.htm.)
Sandra Cronk, Gospel Order: A Quaker Understanding of the Faithful Quaker Community
(#297, for Week 1)
Elaine Prevallet, Reflections on Simplicity
(#244, for Week 3)
David Morse, Testimony: John Woolman on Today's Global Economy (
#356, for Week 4)
Steve Smith, Living in Virtue, Declaring Against War: The Spiritual Roots of the Peace Testimony
(#378, for Week 5)

Week 1:  - What Is a Testimony?

Sandra Cronk, Gospel Order: A Quaker Understanding of the Faithful Quaker Community (PH Pamphlet #297).
pp. 9-13 describes her view on what testimonies are.  pp.21-31 is a wonderful story on mutual accountability.

Faith & Practice: Extracts # 195-214, 247-8, 260 (pp. 145-64). Also: pp. 65-7, 74-5.  

Biblical roots:  The following passages relate to leadings and a sense of being called by God to a prophetic role.  1 Samuel 3, 1 Kings 19: 9-16, 1 Kings 19: 19-21, Isaiah 6: 1-9, Jeremiah 1:1-10, Amos 3:1-8, 7:10-15, Joel 2:28.

Add'l reading:  Jack Kirk, "Creaturely Activities or Spiritually Based Concerns?", Ch.1 in Friends Face the World.

Paul Lacey. Leading and Being Led, PH Pamphlet #264, 1985. (available online at www.pendlehill.org).

Week 2:  - The Testimony on Integrity

Faith & Practice:   Extracts #270-97 (pp.167-74). Also: Query #12 (p. 215)

Biblical roots:  Matt 5: 10-11 (8th beatitude), Luke 9:23-25 (Take up your cross & follow Christ), Matthew 5:33-37 & James 5:12 (on oaths)

Additional reading:  Good Business Ethics at Work, The Quakers at Business Group, London, 2000.

Wilmer Cooper, The Testimony of Integrity, Pendle Hill Pamphlet #296, 1991.

Robert Barclay's Apology: Proposition XV, espec. Section III (titles) & X (oaths).

Week 3:  - Simplicity (or "Purity")

Faith & Practice: Extracts 225-40, 255 (pp. 155-63).  Also: pp. 70-71, pp. 73-4 (addictions). Query & #12 (p. 214)

Richard Gregg, The Value of Voluntary Simplicity, PH Pamphlet #3 (available online at www.pendlehill.org)

Biblical roots: Ecclesiastes 5:1-7 (2b was often quoted by early Friends), 6:11, 9:17. , Matt 6:25-34 (the lilies of the field - cf. James 4:13-17), Matt 5:8 (5th beatitude: pure in spirit), Luke 16:12-4  (=Mt 6: 23-5 - serving 2 masters)

Additional reading:  Elaine Prevallet, Reflections on Simplicity, PH Pamphlet #244, 1982.

Thomas Kelly. "The Simplification of Life" in A Testament of Devotion.

Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God.

Fran Tabor, "Finding the Taproot of Simplicity: The Movement between Inner Knowledge & Outer Action", Chap. 5 in Friends Face the World.

James Neff MD, "Alcohol & Drugs: A Quaker Concern". Chap. 10 in Friends Face the World.

Thich Nhat Hanh, Present Moment, Wonderful Moment; The Miracle of Mindfulness, and other books.


Week 4:  - Equality

Faith & Practice: Extracts # 243-6, 249-50, 254, 268-69 (on pp. 159-67).  Also: pp. 75-6, 80. Queries # 6 & 7.  We will also run off several Woolman passages for this class.

Biblical roots: Eccles. 6:10-12, Amos 2:6-7 & 5:21-24, Isaiah 11:3-5, Luke 18: 18-30 (rich young ruler), Acts 2: 42-7, 4: 32-7 (on sharing of goods in the early church), Matt 5:6 (4th beatitude), Galatians 3:28, James 5:1-5.

Additional reading:  David Morse, Testimony: John Woolman on Today's Global Economy (PH Pamphlet #356).

Mildred Binns Young, What Doth the Lord Require of Thee?, PH Pamphlet #145, 1966. (available online).

John Woolman, A Plea for the Poor.  (appended to most editions of his Journal & reissued as PH pamphlet #357.)

Severyn Bruyn, Testimonies & Economic Alternatives, PH Pamphlet # 231, 1980 (also online).

Margaret Hope Bacon, ed. Lucretia Mott Speaking: Excerpts from the Sermons & Speeches of a Famous Nineteenth Century Quaker Minister & Reformer, PH Pamplet #234 (available online)

Margaret Hope Bacon, "Beyond Equal Rights: The Quaker Concern for the Rights of Women", Chap. 9 in Friends Face the World.

Week 5:  - Peace

"A Perspective on the Peace Testimony", by John Andrew Gallery, in the Nov. 2002 issue of Friends Journal. Available online at: http://www.friendsjournal.org/contents/2002/11november/feature.html  (We will make some copies available for those who request it.)

Faith & Practice: Extracts # 215-24 (pp. 151-5) & 230. Also: pp. 76-9. Query #8 (pg. 211).

Bible roots: Isaiah 11:6-9 (peaceable kingdom), Micah 4:2-4 (swords into plowshares), Matt 5:38-48 (love your enemies), 26:51-2 (resisting Jesus' arrest), Romans 12: 9-21 (cited by Barclay), James 4: 1-3 (cited by Fox in 1651 & in Declaration of 1660).  See also: Matt. 10:34-9 (bringing a sword, not peace), 21:12-13 (cleansing the temple), 22:15-22 (paying taxes), Romans 13 (obeying authories).

Additional reading

Steve Smith, Living in Virtue, Declaring Against War: The Spiritual Roots of the Peace Testimony (PH pamphl. #378)
The Declaration of 1660 in the Journal of George Fox
(page 398-403 in the Nickalls edition)

Barclay's Apology Proposition XV, paragraph XIII.                            Woolman's Journal. Chapter 5.

Howard Brinton, Friends for 300 Years, pp.151-5 (on Quaker work to reform prisons and mental hospitals).

Wallace Collett, "Pay Thy Taxes as Long as Thou Canst".  Chap. 14 in Friends Face the World.

Friends & the Vietnam War: Papers & Presentations from a Gathering for Reconciliation, Reappraisal & Looking Ahead, ed. by Chuck Fager, Pendle Hill, 1998.

Many Pendle Hill Pamphlets including A.J.Muste, "Of Holy Obedience" PH pamphlet #64 (available online).

Robert Hillegass, Nonviolence on Trial, PH pamphlet #274.

John Andrew Gallery, Reflections from a Prayer Vigil for Peace, PH pamphlet #358.

Week 6:  - Earthcare

Faith & Practice:  pp. 81.   Query #10 (on pg. 213).

Biblical roots: Gen. 1-2, Lev. 25:1-8, 11-12; 26:4-6, 34-35 (sabbath rest for the land), Psalms 24:1 & 104, Job 38-40, Matt 5:5, Rom 8:18-27.

Additional reading:

George Fox, Journal (Nickalls edition), p. 27 and 206

Ruth Lofgren, "Sharing Stewardship of Our Planet Earth". Chap. 11 in Friends Face the World.

 

Week 7:  - Continuing Revelation:    How new testimonies are born

Faith & Practice:  Parts of Query #6 on clearness process.  See also readings for Week #1.

Bible: Matt. 5: 13-48, 9:17. Rev. 21:5.