Quaker Roots and Branches

John Lampen. Christian Alternative
(NBN, dist.), $10.95 trade paper (80p) ISBN 978-1-78535-834-0
British Quaker Lampen (The Peace Kit) distills central ideas and beliefs of Quakerism in this quick introduction to the pacifist faith. Lampen centers his presentation on what Quakers, also called Friends, term “testimonies”: areas of particular preoccupation that have attracted the efforts of Friends over centuries to establish or improve. He provides an overview of Quaker work for peace, the environment, and prison reform—all distinctive Quaker concerns. For instance, he writes of how Quaker Elizabeth Fry led a campaign for significant reforms within Victorian prisons—a tradition of appeal that has extended to modern calls for full abolishment of institutional incarceration. Lampen then looks somewhat apologetically at Quaker stances on the arts, where Friends’ earnestness historically led them to look askance at artistic expression, especially in music, for an embarrassingly long time. He concludes with a chapter on Quaker theology and its varieties of expression; American readers will note a distinctly British slant to the contemporary material he draws on. Lampen’s work brings to light important moments in Quaker history, and though many readers will quarrel over what is left out, none can complain about the Quaker simplicity this little handbook embodies. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/25/2018
Release date: 07/01/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 80 pages - 978-1-78535-841-8
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