About the Quaker Spirituality: Traditions of Christian Spirituality (Session 5) course
What is the role of silence in worship? How should spirituality infuse the life of the believer? Where does one end, and another begin?
In the fifth and final instalment of our Traditions of Christian Spirituality series, we hear an introduction to the spirituality of the Quakers.
The session will begin with a historical overview of Quakerism, from its radical origins out of the turbulence of the English civil wars to the wide diversity of Quaker expressions in the modern world. Quaker spirituality is most famous for its emphasis on silent worship, though contemporary Quakers across the globe worship in a variety of ways. Through an exploration of this history, participants will be invited to reflect on the central religious convictions of the first Quakers as the shared reference point for a whole range of modern spiritualities.
The session will then unpack these central principles in greater detail, considering the relationship between silent waiting and spoken word, core Quaker ideas of that of God within, the immanent Christ, lived ‘testimony’, and an emphasis on spirituality expressed through action in the world.
This session will focus on the faith and practice of Quakers in Britain, while drawing attention to commonalities and differences across the full range of global Quaker expressions.
Finally, the course leader will give space for participants to share a short period of silent worship, followed by time for Q&A and informal discussion.
About the Tutor
Madeleine Pennington is a historical theologian, researcher and Quaker. She is head of research at Theos think tank, and is the author of Quakers, Christ and the Enlightenment and The Christian Quaker: George Keith and the Keithian Controversy, as well as numerous Theos reports on a range of contemporary issues in the intersection of faith and society. Before working at Theos, she was Henry J. Cadbury scholar at Pendle Hill in Philadelphia, where she was researching early Quaker theology, and she holds a DPhil in theology from the University of Oxford. In her spare time, she sits on the Quaker Committee for Christian and Interfaith Relations.
About the Series
This is the final session in a five-part series on the Christian spiritual tradition presented in association with the Church Times.
The series begins 22 January 2024 with Desert spirituality Desert Spirituality course listing.