Special Issue "Interdisciplinary Quaker Studies"

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2018)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Rhiannon Grant

Department of Theology and Religion, University of Birmingham, 1046 Bristol Road, Birmingham, B30 6LJ, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: philosophy and religion; Wittgenstein; religious language; Quaker studies; feminist and queer approaches to religion

Special Issue Information

This special issue will explore the interdisciplinary nature of Quaker Studies, showcasing work from historical, theological, sociological, and other approaches. The range of methods employed will highlight the ways in which tools from many areas of research can explore different aspects of this numerically small but influential religious community. As well as presenting a range of interesting results, papers in this issue will reflect specifically on methodology, updating insights from the 2004 edited collection "The creation of Quaker theory".

Dear Colleagues,

This special issue explores the interdisciplinary nature of Quaker Studies and reflects on the range of methods which can be used to tease out different aspects of Quakerism. Submissions are welcome from any disciplinary background—even and perhaps especially if other researchers are surprised to learn that you are working on Quakerism! Including some explicit reflection on your methodology, how your work incorporates elements from more than one discipline, or how you use findings from one discipline to inform work in another area would be particularly welcome. Overall, the special issue will both highlight the importance of Quakers as a case study or example in many fields, and help those who are already working in Quaker Studies to get a fuller picture of the many possible approaches.

Existing work in Quaker Studies is heavily weighted towards the fields of history and sociology, with some also happening in theology, philosophy, and other interdisciplinary fields, such as gender studies. The 2004 book, 'The Creation of Quaker Theory: Insider Perspectives', edited by Pink Dandelion, reflects this emphasis. The papers in this special issue will pick up from this point, but by presenting new findings alongside reflection on methodology and interdisciplinarity they will expand the discussion to open up questions such as: How do the disciplines involved in Quaker Studies interact - how, for example, does Quaker history inform Quaker theology? When are the boundaries between disciplines useful, and when should someone trained in one field also begin to work in another? What do scholars do when the conventions of one field clash with those of another, such as when writing up work for publication in a discipline different to that in which it was original conducted?

Dr. Rhiannon Grant
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Quaker
  • Quakerism
  • interdisciplinary
  • methodology
  • insider/outsider

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Open AccessArticle “Stand Still in The Light”: What Conceptual Metaphor Research Can Tell Us about Quaker Theology
Religions 2019, 10(1), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10010041
Received: 21 December 2018 / Revised: 5 January 2019 / Accepted: 7 January 2019 / Published: 10 January 2019
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Abstract
The purpose of this study is to explore how an interdisciplinary approach can benefit Quaker Studies. The paper applies conceptual Metaphor Theory to help explicate aspects of theology in 17th century Quaker writings. It uses a combination of close reading supported by a
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The purpose of this study is to explore how an interdisciplinary approach can benefit Quaker Studies. The paper applies conceptual Metaphor Theory to help explicate aspects of theology in 17th century Quaker writings. It uses a combination of close reading supported by a corpus of related texts to analyse the writing of 4 key figures from the first decade of the movement. Metaphor analysis finds that orientational schemas of UP-DOWN and IN-OUT are essential structural elements in the theological thought of all 4 writers, along with more complex metaphors of BUILDINGS. Quaker writers make novel extensions to and recombinations of Biblical metaphors around Light and Stones, as well as using aspects of the theory of Elements. Such analysis can help explicate nuances of theological meaning-making. The evaluation of DOWN IS GOOD and UP IS BAD—except in specific circumstances—is distinctively Quaker, and embodied metaphors of divine immanence in humans indicate a ‘flipped’ soteriology which is distanced from the Christ event. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interdisciplinary Quaker Studies)
Open AccessArticle When History Substitutes for Theology: The Impact of Quaker Scholars’ Religious Affiliations on the Study of Nineteenth Century American Quakerism
Religions 2018, 9(12), 395; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9120395
Received: 31 October 2018 / Revised: 20 November 2018 / Accepted: 20 November 2018 / Published: 3 December 2018
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Abstract
This article argues that histories of 19th century Quakerism are often veiled interdenominational theological arguments among Quakers. It looks at the historiography of the Hicksite Separation and the emergence of the pastoral system to suggest that the branch of Quakerism from which the
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This article argues that histories of 19th century Quakerism are often veiled interdenominational theological arguments among Quakers. It looks at the historiography of the Hicksite Separation and the emergence of the pastoral system to suggest that the branch of Quakerism from which the author originates often plays a critical role in how they narrate history. The article suggests that objectivity is not an achievable or desirable aim for Quaker Studies or Quaker history, but that engagement with the broader currents of scholarship and clarifying theological presumptions for non-Quaker audiences are important to maintaining an academically legitimate discipline. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interdisciplinary Quaker Studies)
Open AccessArticle The Survival of the Gift: An Enchanted Interpretation of Early Quakerism
Religions 2018, 9(11), 363; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9110363
Received: 12 October 2018 / Revised: 26 October 2018 / Accepted: 30 October 2018 / Published: 16 November 2018
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Abstract
Since Max Weber’s ground-breaking study, The Protestant Ethic, and the Spirit of Capitalism, it has become something of a scholarly trope to treat the rise of secular modernity and the formation of Quakerism as going readily together. In an effort to dismantle
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Since Max Weber’s ground-breaking study, The Protestant Ethic, and the Spirit of Capitalism, it has become something of a scholarly trope to treat the rise of secular modernity and the formation of Quakerism as going readily together. In an effort to dismantle this habitual interpretation of Quaker history, this article posits the existence of an embryonic ‘enchanted’ Quakerism, which actively resisted the nascent secularity of early modernity. Drawing extensively on the gift-theory of Marcel Mauss, it will be shown that first-generation Quakerism was characterised by a magical conception of the body, nature, and society. Such a posture, in its radical anachronism, sought to undermine both Cartesian science and the emerging discipline of political economy. In place of a cosmology of hierarchy and commodification, early Quakers argued for a sweeping theology of gift, which imbued the whole of experience with divine activity. While secularity was busily confining the magical and the miraculous to the realm of innermost subjectivity, the Quakerism of the 1650s and 60s was characterised by a stubborn refusal to accept such a process of religious privatisation. In contrast, early Quaker spirituality postulated the continual interaction of Biblical realities with contemporary natural and social orders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interdisciplinary Quaker Studies)
Open AccessArticle A Quiet Faith: Quakers in Post-Christian Britain
Religions 2018, 9(10), 313; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9100313
Received: 25 September 2018 / Revised: 10 October 2018 / Accepted: 11 October 2018 / Published: 15 October 2018
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Abstract
Post-Christian Britain is characterised by a rejection of doctrinal and morally conservative religion. This does not reflect solely the experience of those with ‘no religion’ but can be found in the narratives of ‘new Quakers,’ those who have become members or attenders in
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Post-Christian Britain is characterised by a rejection of doctrinal and morally conservative religion. This does not reflect solely the experience of those with ‘no religion’ but can be found in the narratives of ‘new Quakers,’ those who have become members or attenders in the past three years. New Quakers contrast Quaker sense of acceptance, freedom from theological ideas and freedom to be a spiritual seeker with conservative Christian churches, which have often been experienced as judgmental and doctrinal. Quaker liberal morality also affords inclusivity to those who have felt marginalised, such as disabled and LGBT people. The way new Quakers articulate their identity shines a light on the contemporary transformation of religious forms and society. Their emphasis on individual spirituality and rejection of theological doctrine reflect the profound cultural shift towards a post-Christian Britain, which is religiously diverse, more open to individual spiritual seeking and more liberal morally and socially. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interdisciplinary Quaker Studies)
Open AccessArticle Quaker Prophetic Language in the Seventeenth Century: A Cross-Disciplinary Case Study
Religions 2018, 9(8), 227; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9080227
Received: 10 July 2018 / Revised: 21 July 2018 / Accepted: 22 July 2018 / Published: 25 July 2018
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Abstract
This paper explores three themes: (i) a short, empirical research account of the linguistic realization of seventeenth-century Quaker prophecy using digital corpus-based tools; (ii) a practical description of how those tools can be used in interdisciplinary research such as the prophecy study; and
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This paper explores three themes: (i) a short, empirical research account of the linguistic realization of seventeenth-century Quaker prophecy using digital corpus-based tools; (ii) a practical description of how those tools can be used in interdisciplinary research such as the prophecy study; and (iii) a reflective section that considers the advantages, potential richness but also challenges of embarking on an integrated piece of research that straddles established academic disciplines. The ‘prophecy’ analysis comments on the nature of prophecy from a linguistic perspective. It includes positive and negative connotations observed in the data contrasted with non-Quaker texts (including the Bible), and also how Quaker prophetic style changed during the second half of the seventeenth century. The secondary purpose of the paper is to demonstrate the value of departing from traditional, well-established approaches in a discipline such as religion. Quaker studies scholars are familiar with the exercise of grappling with unfamiliar approaches, concepts and specialist vocabulary in order to learn about new insights that they might not otherwise encounter. The present quantitative-based study of Quaker prophesying is a fresh attempt to bring new life to this aspect of historical Quaker writings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interdisciplinary Quaker Studies)
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Open AccessArticle The Friends’ Ambulance Unit in the First World War
Religions 2018, 9(5), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9050165
Received: 15 April 2018 / Revised: 6 May 2018 / Accepted: 17 May 2018 / Published: 19 May 2018
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Abstract
The Friends’ Ambulance Unit (FAU) was created shortly after the outbreak of the First World War. It was an attempt to provide young Friends (Quakers) with the opportunity to serve their country without sacrificing their religious principles. However, it was considered by some
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The Friends’ Ambulance Unit (FAU) was created shortly after the outbreak of the First World War. It was an attempt to provide young Friends (Quakers) with the opportunity to serve their country without sacrificing their religious principles. However, it was considered by some members to be in direct opposition to the Society’s fundamental religious tenets, and thus remained a cause of internal conflict throughout the war. Nevertheless, the civilian relief work that was carried out by the FAU early in the war, in the region of Flanders, aligned the unit’s activities much more closely with the religious principles of the Society. The FAU assisted thousands of civilians trapped in the besieged and battered town of Ypres, working intensively in the containment and treatment of the typhoid epidemic that swept the region, locating sufferers, providing them with medical care, and inoculating people against the disease. It helped in the purification of the town’s contaminated drinking water, and distributed milk for infants and food and clothing to the sick and needy. It helped found hospitals and orphanages, made provision for schooling, and organised gainful employment for refugees. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interdisciplinary Quaker Studies)

Other

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Open AccessConcept Paper Spiritual Discernment, the Incorporated Organization, and Corporate Law: The Case of Quaker Business Method
Religions 2019, 10(1), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10010035
Received: 15 November 2018 / Revised: 3 January 2019 / Accepted: 6 January 2019 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent to which practices from the spiritual traditions—in our case, spiritual discernment—may offer opportunities for management innovation in non-religious organizations in designing collaborative and participative decision-making processes. We examine the case of a spiritual
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The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent to which practices from the spiritual traditions—in our case, spiritual discernment—may offer opportunities for management innovation in non-religious organizations in designing collaborative and participative decision-making processes. We examine the case of a spiritual discernment practice associated with the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in the UK—known as the Quaker Business Method (QBM)—to help illuminate the opportunities of spiritual discernment in private limited companies. Given that the majority of non-religious, trading organizations are structured as private limited companies, our paper addresses the extent to which QBM can be utilized by such entities. Thus, we bring religion and corporate law into conversation to address this under-explored terrain. We find that embedding many elements of Quaker spiritual discernment in private limited companies pose non-trivial challenges. However, many of these challenges can be overcome so long as those involved in managing and owning organizations actively engage with corporate law, and specifically consider the benefits of adopting bespoke articles of association or entering into a separate shareholder agreement to reflect the practice of spiritual discernment. We necessarily adopt a practice-orientated perspective, and conclude by proposing new pathways for future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interdisciplinary Quaker Studies)
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