The Quakers In America

Paperback | September 18, 2006

byThomas D. Hamm

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Known best for their long-standing commitment to social activism, pacifism, fair treatment for Native Americans, and equality for women, the Quakers have influenced American thought and society far out of proportion to their relatively small numbers. Whether in the foreign policy arena (the American Friends Service Committee), in education (the Friends schools), or in the arts (prominent Quakers profiled in this book include James Turrell, Bonnie Raitt, and James Michener), Quakers have left a lasting imprint on American life. This multifaceted book is a concise history of the Religious Society of Friends; an introduction to its beliefs and practices; and a vivid picture of the culture and controversies of the Friends today.

The book opens with lively vignettes of Conservative, Evangelical, Friends General Conference, and Friends United meetings that illuminate basic Quaker concepts and theology and reflect the group's diversity in the wake of the sectarian splintering of the nineteenth century. Yet the book also examines commonalities among American Friends that demonstrate a fundamental unity within the religion: their commitments to worship, the ministry of all believers, decision making based on seeking spiritual consensus rather than voting, a simple lifestyle, and education. Thomas Hamm shows that Quaker culture encompasses a rich tradition of practice even as believers continue to debate a number of central questions: Is Quakerism necessarily Christian? Where should religious authority reside? Is the self sacred? How does one transmit faith to children? How do gender and sexuality shape religious belief and behavior? Hamm's analysis of these debates reveals a vital religion that prizes both unity and diversity.

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Known best for their long-standing commitment to social activism, pacifism, fair treatment for Native Americans, and equality for women, the Quakers have influenced American thought and society far out of proportion to their relatively small numbers. Whether in the foreign policy arena (the American Friends Service Committee), in educ...

Thomas D. Hamm is archivist for the Friends Collection and professor of history at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. This is his fourth book on Quakerism.

other books by Thomas D. Hamm

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see all books by Thomas D. Hamm
Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 6 × 9 × 0.68 inPublished:September 18, 2006Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231123639

ISBN - 13:9780231123631

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Table of Contents

Meeting for Worship and Meeting for BusinessThe Origins of American Quakerism, 1640-1800Their Separate Ways: American Friends since1800Quaker Faiths and PracticesContemporary Quaker DebatesQuakers and the World"A Quarterly Meeting in Herself": Quaker Women, Marriage, and the Family

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Worth reading by anyone seeking knowledge of religion in the contemporary United States.