The Quakers

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From two professors of religion, a comprehensive history of the Society of Friends in the U.S. . . . The authors are careful to explain what Quakers believed at every stage of their development and how they organized their lives around the religious and social movements they fostered or fought against. The second part of this engaging book is a biographical dictionary of Quaker leaders. Reference Books Bulletin

This volume interweaves theology, social history, and biography in the first comprehensive history of Quakers in America to be published in more than forty years. Barbour and Frost treat all branches of American Quakers, tracing the history of the denomination from 1650 to the present and demonstrating how changes in the movement can be related to the traditions of the Society of Friends and developments in the wider cultural context. The text presents the lives and ideas of prominent Quaker men and women: George Fox, William Penn, John Woolman, Elias Hicks, Joseph John Gurtney, Rufus Jones, Henry Cadbury, and many others. The authors show that today although a Quaker can be fundamentalist, an evangelical, a moderate, or a liberal, the twentieth century has been marked by attempts to reunify and affirm a common tradition among all branches of the denomination.

After initial chapters dealing with the genesis of Quakerism under George Fox in Puritan England, the authors turn to an examination of the Society of Friends in colonial America. They reveal the Friends' creative response to persecution after 1660, the intellectual achievements of William Penn and Robert Barclay, and the creation of early colonies in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Later chapters address the influence of Quaker pacifism and opposition to slavery, the establishment of Quaker communities in midwestern and western states, and the theological divisions within the Society of Friends that characterized the movement in the nineteenth century.

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Editorial Reviews

Treats all branches of American Quakers, tracing the history of the denomination from 1650 to the present and demonstrating how changes in the movement can be related to the traditions of the Society of Friends and the developments in the wider cultural context. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313228162
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/15/1988
  • Series: Denominations in America Series , #3
  • Pages: 421
  • Sales rank: 553,544
  • Lexile: 1380L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.46 (w) x 9.58 (h) x 1.34 (d)

Meet the Author

HUGH BARBOUR is Professor of Religion at Earlham College and Professor of Church History at Earlham School of Religion.

J. WILLIAM FROST is Howard M. and Charles F. Jenkins Professor of Quaker History and Research and Director of the Friends Historical library, Swarthmore College.

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Table of Contents

The Quakers: A History of Friends in America

Introduction: The Society of Friends

The Religious Setting of the Early Friends

The Lamb's War and the Awakening of the North of England

Quaker Worship and Ethics and Their Transformation, 1652-1662

The Mission to America

England, 1660-1689: Persecution, Theology, and the Universalizing of Truth

The Quaker Colonies

A Tolerated Sociey of Friends

A Spiritual Existence

A Disciplined Christian Life

Crisis and Reformation

The American Revolutions

Quaker Migrants to Carolina and the Midwest: Eastern Philanthropists


The Midcontinent in the Midcentury, 1828-1867: Gurneyites and Conservatives and Slavery

West and Midwest, 1867-1902: Revivals, Holiness, Missions, and Pastors

The Liberal Transformation

Suburban and College Friends: West and Midwest, 1902-1960

Creativity in Peacemaking

Social Service and Social Change, 1902-1970

New Forms of Quaker Interaction, 1960-1987

A Biographical Dictionary of Former Quaker Leaders in America

Abbreviations for Standard Sources and Quaker Organizations



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