Inward Light and the New Creation: A theological meditation on the center and circumference of Quakerism

Inward Light and the New Creation: A theological meditation on the center and circumference of Quakerism

by R. Melvin Keiser

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The center of Quakerism is the Inward Light, its circumference the New Creation. To open to the Light – or Seed, Truth, Life, Inward Teacher, Christ within (we have used many metaphors for the indwelling presence of God) is to live within the world as originally created. Seventeenth-century Friends were not only responsive to the Light but related to a context, and this context was the world as the divinely created original matrix of being. From this underlying center and circumference flows early Friends' way of being in the world, the peculiar nature of their spirituality, theology, and ethics.

What follows is a theological meditation upon history, drawing from Quaker origins to clarify and enrich contemporary Quaker spirituality and engagement in theology and ethics. In sharing this theological meditation, I want to make explicit what every historian and theologian does implicitly: to share not only what I see, but also the perspective from which I am looking.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940150286733
Publisher: Pendle Hill Publications
Publication date: 12/22/2014
Series: Pendle Hill Pamphlets , #295
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 108 KB

About the Author

R. Melvin Keiser is Professor of Religious Studies at Guilford College, Greensboro, North Carolina. Born in Philadelphia, educated at Westtown School, Earlham College, Yale Divinity School, Harvard University, with a Ph.D. in Religion and Culture from Duke University, he teaches Quakerism and a wide range in religious and interdisciplinary studies (philosophical, poetic, psychological, scientific, mythological, theological) in the modern and medieval worlds. He is a member of the Friends Center at Guilford and works in adult education in the North Carolina Yearly Meetings.
With his wife, Elizabeth B. Keiser, he was Co-Director of the inter-faith Coolidge Research Colloquium 1986-89 meeting in June at Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, MA, under the auspices of the Associates of Religion and Intellectual Life, is a Proctor Fellow at Episcopal Divinity School in the fall of 1990 and will be a Friend-in-Residence at Pendle Hill in the spring of 1991.
His essays have appeared in Zygon, Religion & Intellectual Life, Convivum, Tradition & Discovery, Guilford Review, and in Schools and Meaning: Essays on the Moral Nature of Schooling, ed. by David E. Purpel and H. Svi Shapiro (University Press of America, 1985). He is author of Recovering the Personal: Religious Language and the Post-Critical Quest of H. Richard Niebuhr (Scholars Press, 1988) and co-editor with Tony Stoneburner of the forthcoming The Way of Transformation: Beyond Western Consciousness to Theopoetic Depth—Essays of Stanley Romaine Hopper (Westminster, spring, 1992).

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