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1. A Quaker Book of Wisdom: Life
2. Quaker Summer (Women of Faith
3. A Sermon Preached at the Quaker's
4. Practicing Peace: A Devotional
5. Guide to the Quaker Parrot
6. Plain Living: A Quaker Path to
7. William Penn and the Quaker Legacy
8. The Quakers: A Very Short Introduction
9. Holy Silence: The Gift Of Quaker
10. The People Called Quakers
11. Puritan Boston and Quaker Philadelphia
12. A Living Faith: An Historical
13. "Immigration of the Irish Quakers
14. Brands, Trademarks and Good Will:
15. Listening to the Light: How to
16. Quaker Spirituality: Selected
17. How the Quakers Invented America
18. The Spirit of the Quakers (The
19. The Quaker colonies: a chronicle
20. The Barn at the End of the World:

1. A Quaker Book of Wisdom: Life Lessons In Simplicity, Service, And Common Sense
by Robert Lawrence Smith
Paperback: 208 Pages (1999-09-07)
list price: US$12.99 -- used & new: US$6.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0688172334
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
"The most valuable aspect of religion," writes Robert Lawrence Smith, "is that it provides us with a framework for living. I have always felt that the beauty and power of Quakerism is that it exhorts us to live more simply, more truthfully, more charitably."

Taking his inspiration from the teaching of the first Quaker, George Fox, and from his own nine generations of Quaker forebears, Smith speaks to all of us who are seeking a way to make our lives simpler, more meaningful, and more useful. Beginning with the Quaker belief that "There is that of God in every person," Smith explores the ways in which we can harness the inner light of God that dwells in each of us to guide the personal choices and challenges we face every day. How to live and speak truthfully. How to listen for, trust, and act on our conscience. How to make our work an expression of the best that is in us.

Using vivid examples from his own life, Smith writes eloquently of Quaker Meeting, his decision to fight in World War II, and later to oppose the Vietnam War. From his work as an educator and headmaster to his role as a husband and father, Smith quietly convinces that the lofty ideals of Quakerism offer all of us practical tools for leading a more meaningful life. His book culminates with a moving letter to his grandchildren which imparts ten lessons for "letting your life speak."Amazon.com Review
During a traditional Quaker meeting, the Friends sit in silentmeditation. No one speaks unless they are moved to do so through the"still, small voice" of God within. As a result, spoken words areoften spare, clear, and wise. A Quaker Book of Wisdom readslike the voice of a Sunday morning meeting. Author Robert LawrenceSmith is a lifelong Quaker and former headmaster of the SidwellFriends School in Washington, D.C. (Chelsea Clinton's former almamater). Reflecting on topics such as silence, simplicity, business,and family, Smith offers guidance on how to "let your life speak"--animportant premise to the Quaker life of service. Smith's humbleself-disclosures make this slim book especially endearing andaccessible. In the chapter "Conscience," he divulges battlefieldhorrors that rival those in Saving Private Ryan--images that still haunthim long after he chose to fight fascism during World War II insteadof becoming a conscientious objector, as many Quakers did. In thenext chapter, "Non-Violence," Smith writes of an eye-opening shoppingtrip to Toys R Us where the action-figure warmongers are far moreattractive to his grandson than the checkers game they were planningto purchase. In the final chapter, Smith offers "Ten Life Lessons"that he wishes someone had shared with him when he was growingup. Indeed, these lessons are even more valuable and certainly moreprovocative than the ones we learned in kindergarten. --GailHudson ... Read more

Customer Reviews (27)

4-0 out of 5 stars Take a Moment to get grounded
Don't let the size fool you.
This book packs a punch.

I live far away from other Friends at the moment. Often the religious people where I have lived don't believe Quakerism is even a religion, think that we are like the Amish, or worse, they are openly hostile to the ideas of Quakerism. As a result, I often look to this book to feel grounded. The book has that wonderful balance of personal stories and philosophical points. The author doesn't tell long stories because he likes telling long stories about himself.

He keeps it simple.

Whether you are a Friend, or not. Whether you are religious or not, this book is a grounding book covering ideas like peace simplicity and silence, of which we could all use more. I personally, love this book and am grateful to have it in my collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars a wonderful little reader
i picked this up out of curiosity over 10 years ago and come back to its simple wisdom probably at least yearly...its great for a quick read of a chapter at random or rereading the entire book slowly over a few days. i would recommend for any spiritual seeker christian buddhist or whatever

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
This is a great book.If you are interested in learning more about the Quaker faith this is a wonderful guide to applying Quaker tenants to everyday living.If you are looking for spiritual direction in your life this book shows you the Quaker path.I enjoyed reading it on many levels.I recieved it as a gift and have since give it as a gift.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book!!
This book is simple, a good read, and an excellent book that introduces you to the Quaker practice.I have enjoyed it very much and I am delighted to discover how much Quaker teachings go hand-in-hand with simplicity and Unity ideals.This book has encouraged me to investigate more in to Quaker beliefs.This would be an excellent addition to any library for those who enjoy searching for and reading spiritual books.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great, interesting, sightful book
I am not a quaker, but have been interested in the religion. This book helped me with some of my questions about it. The author talks about his own experience with various parts of the religion, and relates to things like being honest, being there for people, ect. It is a thought-provoking book, as it looks at our world today, and how things have changed. I bought this book sometime last year, and still re-read it today, and have found it extremely interesting and helpful to me. Overall, I would recomend this book for anyone, really. ... Read more

2. Quaker Summer (Women of Faith Fiction) (2007 Novel of the Year)
by Lisa Samson
Paperback: 336 Pages (2007-02-06)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$3.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B003E7EXMW
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Sometimes you have to go a little bit crazy to discover the life you were meant to live.

Heather Curridge is coming unhinged. And people are starting to notice. What's wrong with a woman who has everything--a mansion on a lake, a loving son, a heart-surgeon husband--yet still feels miserable inside?

When Heather spends the summer with two ancient Quaker sisters and a crusty nun running a downtown homeless shelter, she finds herself at a crossroads.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (32)

2-0 out of 5 stars So much promise, but...
I am trying to locate Christian fiction authors that do not drive me crazy.Deeanne Gist has become an absolute favorite.I was hoping Lisa Samson would be too, as the story held such promise, as did the title of Women of Faith book of the year.But it simply did not deliver.It took hundreds of pages for the lead character to tell us and show us how she is coming unhinged.When she finally gets around to doing the obvious thing, I was starting not to care!I am glad for the life changes her family undertook, but it was just too late after pages and pages of lead-up.

I would not go so far to say the book was racist as other reviewers have commented.But it did seem a bit odd that the character was so stunned by her own behavior of mixing with blacks---"look at me, the fancy, rich white lady visiting the "hood"---I am so scandalous and edgy!".To me that was a bit over the top.

I also did not like the writing style much.Almost as if the character were talking to herself, but not in a way that endeared me. Telling me things about the character, instead of revealing it to me through her behavior and choices, if that makes sense.

I finished the story and it was okay, but I will probably not revisit this author anytime soon.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great book!
Quaker Summer was a perfect read for where I am right now in my relationship with Christ. It spoke to my heart and soul in regards to who I am supposed to be in Christ. I know it is a fictional book but I thought there were a lot of things in the book that made me think about today's "church", the institution, as opposed to BEING the church to others. I really am pleased with this book and will read it again to see what other things will speak to me the next time around.

5-0 out of 5 stars Strong message, nicely told
I purchased this book over six months ago and just now got to it.I spent a couple of summer days out on my porch reading this and enjoying every minute of it.It conveys a wonderful message and does it well.

The main character, Heather Curridge, is a doctor's wife who was raised by her dad without a lot of financial advantages.She is a hair stylist by training and falls in love, and marries, a handsome med student who goes on to become a very successful cardiac surgeon.By the time the novel begins, they have a 15-year-old son going to private school and lots of material advantages but nothing ever seems to be enough for her.The spending she continues to do causes strain in the marriage and doesn't fill whatever hole she is trying to fill.The story follows Heather along as she begins to question the status quo and wonder what God would have her do -- something she hasn't spent much time contemplating until now.

While some people may not view Heather as a sympathetic character, I thought she was very realistic (except for the fact she never seemed to do laundry or clean house and no mention was ever made of a housekeeper).While she has every material advantage now and a loving husband and wonderful son, she is battling the demons inside (including a lot of insecurity) and isn't happy.She tries to feed the demon by buying things, trying to be the perfect school volunteer and keeping herself busy doing a contant list of tasks that never ends.None of this works and she ends up yearning for simplicity of both possessions and life-style.There are great supporting characters which enrich the story on their own, plus help her clarify what she really wants out of life.Other mothers at her son's school, a friend she met at a charity function, a nun running a support center for people down on their luck and two elderly Quaker women are terrific characters and add so much to the story.

While the story has some flaws and the writing isn't in the category of great literature, the way it makes you think and re-examine your life and priorities brings this up to a 5-star for me.There is a repeated reference to white place settings - 8 of each piece and only 8.It becomes a symbol of simplicity throughout the novel.Since finishing the last page of the book, I can't tell you how many times I have thought of that 8-piece settng.Enough but not too much.That kind of recurring thought that comes to me days later is the mark of an excellent book in my mind.

2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I had really high hopes for this book. It won the Women of Faith Novel of the Year and the premise of it sounded good. At the halfway point, I just can't stomach anymore for the following reasons:
1.) None of the characters are believable. For example, her son is a deeply theological 15 year old boy who likes hanging out with his mom. Yea. Right.
2.) The main character is hard to sympathize with. I'm sorry I find it hard to see the struggles of a pampered doctor's wife.
3.) This took waaaay too long to get going. I spent half of the book waiting for it to get started. The author spent too much time trying to convey the point that the woman lacked direction in her life. The reader got that point after a few pages, but she kept hammering it home over and over.

3-0 out of 5 stars Heather has it all.... but why isn't it enough??
Heather Curridge has it all: A great family, ritzy lake-front house, possessions aplenty, and enough money to buy more "things" whenever she wants. Her husband is a surgeon, her son goes to a private school. This is the perfect life, what many people aspire to have but never achieve. Heather loves her stuff, she knows she is fortunate...but then why is she feeling so discontent? Shouldn't she be content with her pampered life? And why have the sins of her childhood started to haunt her?

Many people have said this book is life-changing, and I can certainly see how it could be. It did cause me to look around at my possessions, and it effectively and truthfully gets the message across that "things" can't and won't fulfill us....and that is a message we often need reminding of. I did find the story kind of slow in spots, especially in the beginning, but it did pick up. Overall, this is a fairly interesting/entertaining book, with the added bonus of a good message! ... Read more

3. A Sermon Preached at the Quaker's Meeting House, in Gracechurch-Street, London, Eighth Month 12th, 1694.
by William Penn
Paperback: 24 Pages (2010-07-12)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$9.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B003YMMLQM
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This title has fewer than 24 printed text pages.

A Sermon Preached at the Quaker's Meeting House, in Gracechurch-Street, London, Eighth Month 12th, 1694. is presented here in a high quality paperback edition. This popular classic work by William Penn is in the English language. If you enjoy the works of William Penn then we highly recommend this publication for your book collection. ... Read more

4. Practicing Peace: A Devotional Walk Through the Quaker Tradition
by Catherine Whitmire
Paperback: 270 Pages (2007-04)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$4.70
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1933495073
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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From the best-selling author of Plain Living: A Quaker Path to Simplicity comes Practicing Peace: A Devotional Walk through the Quaker Tradition, a guide to the Quaker discipline of practicing peace for spiritual seekers of any religious tradition. Stories of successful nonviolent movements throughout history are partnered with quotes mined from over 350 years of Quaker teachings on peace. Query questions lead readers on a journey to self-discovery and through the stages of practicing peace: first by focusing inwardly, then turning their eyes to practice peace in the world around us. Includes a brief biography of each Friend quoted in the book, a glossary of common Quaker terms as well as additional online resources. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Profound Insights in Bite-Sized Pieces
I don't know if I've written a book review since high school or college 30-40 years ago but I loved this book when I first read it in draft, and even more now, so I just have to say so.As I'm anything but an egghead, it's a delight not to have to plough through Kierkegaard or other heavyweights and yet to still get a chance to think about several centuries of profound insights in bite-sized pieces.Plus it makes me laugh--not a lot, to be sure, but every once in a while I'm startled into laughing right out loud.

The book builds so gently with carefully-organized chapters, from loving ourselves and spiritual renewal through parenting and money--I particularly appreciated the one on beauty and joy--and by the time it gets to the terrifying bits, like people sacrificing their lives for peace (Jesus, for one, of course), it still manages not to overwhelm me with guilt for the world's plight but invite me ever so lovingly to consider what I might do.The author was what we Friends call "clerk" of my meeting when I first met her, and she is one of those who not only sees the best in us, but makes it come true by her having seen it there.Her book is like that.

On the other hand, one of the modern quotations in it (on page 195) echoes what the original Quakers knew, that "many people hate [the light of God within us] because it condemns their behavior."I was surprised by the bit of behavior of mine that the book brought to my attention to be condemned.It was in the chapter about fear.Now when I was young I had driven the Quaker van around burning barricades in Belfast and felt upheld by God's love and the love of the people on the ground who took me and my frightened vanload in until the gunfire calmed down.I had not feared the chapter on fear.And yet, it struck home in an unexpected way---the "fear of looking stupid" (page 171).In meeting for worship a little while after reading that and the chapter on the costs of witnessing, I saw that it is not the fear of getting my name "on the suspect-lists of patriotic watchdog organizations" (page 232) but the fear of being unpopular with my congregation (also page 232)--my very own meeting--that has kept me too silent in the past year.

Finally, I like the typeface and layout of the book.The stories are short enough that I can remember the gist to tell friends at dinner when various topics arise and the book is easy enough to read that I can pull it from my bag and flip through it quickly to find a precise quote when I want it, and so far I've wanted to do that quite often!
... Read more

5. Guide to the Quaker Parrot
by Mattie Sue Athan
Paperback: 128 Pages (2008-02-22)
list price: US$12.99 -- used & new: US$7.61
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0764136682
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The Quaker parrot is a favorite among bird owners because of its endearing personality and its facility for human speech. The new, updated edition of this popular book provides expert advice on Quaker parrot behavior training, grooming, diet, cages, toys, and protecting the inquisitive Quaker parrot from household accidents. The author, a widely recognized expert on parrots, emphasizes the importance of reinforcing desirable behavior and instructs on sensitively replacing undesirable ones, such as excessive noisemaking, biting, and feather destruction issues. She also discusses newly identified anatomical features and recovering escaped birds, and presents background information on Quaker parrots in their native ranges and newly-acquired naturalized status. Filled with color photos and instructive illustrations. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (20)

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Basic Info
Book covers all the basics of the Quakers personallity, rearing tips and training. Also covers general dietary needs and other important information. Very good for the first time Quaker owner.

4-0 out of 5 stars Training a Quaker parrot
It's nice to have a book to refer to and to learn about the parrot.Each Quaker is different so I have learned that hands on training is needed. Purchasing the book to help you select the parrot would have been the better way to go but it's still a good book to have handy.

The seller delivered the advertised product in good time and in the condition expected.Nobody could have beat the price.

5-0 out of 5 stars Quaker Parrot Go-To Book
This is my Quaker Parrot go-to book.It contains everything you need to know as a new Quaker owner, as well as more in-depth information for long-time owners.If you only have one Quaker book, make it this one!

5-0 out of 5 stars GUIDE TO THE QUAKER PARROT

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent resource guide
This has been the Bible of parrot information!Extremely helpful and useful information; concise and interesting reading. ... Read more

6. Plain Living: A Quaker Path to Simplicity
by Catherine Whitmire
Paperback: 192 Pages (2001-07)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$7.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1893732282
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Most of us living in this complex and time-pressured era have moments when we wish we were living simpler, more meaningful lives. Sometimes these wishes are fleeting desires, but for many today the search for a life of greater simplicity and meaning has developed into a deep longing.

There are many routes to simplicity. This book focuses on and provides direction to the gimmick-free spiritual path followed by Quakers.

For over three centuries Quakers have been living out of a spiritual center in a way of life they call "plain living." Their accumulated experiences and distilled wisdom have much to offer anyone seeking greater simplicity today.

Plain Living is not about sacrifice. It's about choosing the life you really want, a form of inward simplicity that leads us to listen for the "still, small voice" of God.

This book goes beyond the merely trendy to make the by now well-worn Quaker path to plain living accessible to everyone.Amazon.com Review
Catherine Whitmire's book of contemporary and historic Quaker voices reads like an antidote to consumer-driven despair. We all know the spiritual downfall of compulsively acquiring material goods (or what Quakers refer to as "cumber"); how it leads to a frantic-paced lifestyle built around working long hours so we can buy more stuff. In assembling Plain Living, a collection of paragraph-long quotes, Whitmire offers readers a simple and soothing alternative--the path that Quakers call "plain living." "We have chosen lives that crowd our appointment books, fill our email boxes, and overload our answering machines, even as we long for a plainer way of living--one that will free us from the strain and activity of these times," writes Whitmire. "The Spirit is speaking through the whirlwind of modern life, and if we listen quietly to the cool, calm Center within, there is an invitation to plain living awaiting us."

In the early chapters readers will find inspiration for laying down their interior and exterior cumber. The book's wisdom eventually expands into other important Quaker values, such as "Parenting and Mentoring," "Practicing Non-Violence," and "Listening to the Earth." Ultimately, this is a book with a long shelf life, offering timeless quotations on living the life worth living. --Gail Hudson ... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I wish that I had read the reviews for this book before purchasing it.I saw the book on a list of recommended books and decided to buy the book on that basis.The book consists primarily of quotations and queries with no discussion or analysis.One of the worst book purchases that I have made.

5-0 out of 5 stars Plain Living: A Quaker Path to Simplicity
Very helpful compilation of Quaker topics and quotes. Quality reading now.I'll use it often in the future as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Read
Very good book, I loved everything in it.This is a great read, especially for anyone interested in Quakerism or simple living.

5-0 out of 5 stars Helpful and thought-provoking
This is a great little book!It provokes thinking about my own life and how I can follow God better.I plan to purchase it for our book study group since I think it will give good topics for discussion and for incorporating into our own lives.

5-0 out of 5 stars great book
I use readings from this book for the High School First Day School class that I teach.It provides many excellent jumping off points for thoughtful discussions. ... Read more

7. William Penn and the Quaker Legacy (Library of American Biography Series)
by John Moretta
Paperback: 288 Pages (2006-12-31)
list price: US$23.20 -- used & new: US$19.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0321163923
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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As the leader of one of the most progressive religious sects to emerge from England, William Penn envisioned Pennsylvania as an example of how a God-inspired society could succeed in the wilderness of North America.


However, once in the New World, Quakers pursued both wealth and power, suggesting that even the most devout could not resist the temptations of the New World.  Despite the moral struggle, Pennsylvania succeeded beyond anyone’s imagination. By Penn’s death in 1718, Pennsylvania was well on its way to becoming the most commercially successful colonial enterprise in English history.  


The titles in the Library of American Biography Series make ideal supplements for American History Survey courses or other courses in American history where figures in history are explored. Paperback, brief, and inexpensive, each interpretative biography in this series focuses on a figure whose actions and ideas significantly influenced the course of American history and national life. At the same time, each biography relates the life of its subject to the broader themes and developments of the times.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Detailed and readable biog of Wm Penn
Read it! Penn's life was amazing and would make a great movie. You learn a lot about early Quakerism in England and the US colonies, the founding of Pennsylvania, and daily life/political struggles in the US colonies. Penn straddled two worlds, that of the early Quaker movement and that of
English royalty and aristocracy.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Great Bio of America's Founding Grandfather
As a Christian pastor born, raised and presently serving in Pennsylvania, I was greatly interested in reading why may be the best biography of Penn presently available.To some degree, the spiritual DNA of our state seems to have been established in the first 20 years of the founding of Philadelphia.

I agree with other reviewers that the writing is college-level, but it is still readable for most all.

Moretta does a great job getting past the iconic, and portrays well Penn's inner and interpersonal struggles as well as his shortcomings as a businessman, a family man, a theologian, and a new world visionary.

I also agree with a previous reviewer that the editing could have been better.I was particularly struck by the [sic] on page 18 after the quoted word, "Berean."It showed me that either virtually no one who previewed this book knew very much about the Bible, or assumed virtually none of the readers did.This, then caused me to distrust some of the spiritual/doctrinal analysis throughout the rest of the book.A footnote would have been so much better.

I appreciated the analysis of most of Penn's writings, but some short tracts got much more attention from Moretta than a treatment of Penn's 600 page, "No Cross, No Crown."It not only would have been helpful to have more than a one-page treatment of its contents, but it would have been helpful to have used it as a measuring device for Penn's fidelity to it over his lifetime, as well as to contrast later statement/writings to it.

Still a great bio, and I highly recommend it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent History Horrible Editing
This is an excellent biography of a most complex human being. It does a superb job of portraying Penn as a religious man with an astute sense of political power. It gives a convincing analysis of a great man seeking to achieve great and lasting principles, but in an environment which he did not control. Thus Penn often appeared to be wavering and contradictory in his goals when he was neither.

While doing as well as he could do in an uncertain world in which he was but one of many influences, Penn was a man of contradictions in himself. He was an elitist who believed in the necessity of a society of deference, but a Quaker who believed in the natural equality of men's souls before G_d and in ultimately deferring to no man. He was a man who believed in "plainness" but continued to display the dress and housing of the upper crust in a semi-feudal Britain. He was a man whose numerous pamphlets were filled with classical references and were argued with great rationality, yet a man who believed that the most important trait in a person's life was the "inner light" of mystical intuition.

While this is a volume of many virtues which is well worth your time and money, the editor assigned to this volume by its publisher should be hung. I was frequently distracted by omitted words, misspellings and simple inept expressions that a B minus level editor would have caught and corrected. Hopefully there will be a second edition from another press.

3-0 out of 5 stars Intriguing and very all-encompassing
The biography, William Penn and the Quaker Legacy by John A. Moretta recounts the life of well-known pacifist, Quaker, and creator of Pennsylvania, William Penn.Penn impacted both American and English society by being an outspoken proponent of religious freedom and for reflecting his Quaker ideals in his political decisions.Moretta's biography takes one on a journey through Penn's turbulent political, spiritual, and emotional life.
William Penn was born in 1644, the son of a wealthy English sea captain, and lived a lonely childhood in a home with a father who was rarely present. He was put into both classical and practical schooling, however his true interest was intense reading of the Bible and pondering the Quaker messages of George Fox.As a young boy Penn became enraptured by Quaker practices and much to his father's chagrin, at age 23, he became a devoted follower.While father and son rarely understood each other, the relations his father's status allowed him to develop, like his friendship with King Charles and his brother James, would be how Penn was able to succeed throughout his life.
Penn created a stir in England and Ireland by preaching, debating, and, after being imprisoned, writing pamphlets extolling and validating the Quaker tradition.Some of his main arguments were that one should always live and dress in a plain way, people were naturally good, and that Jesus preached the brotherhood of man, meaning no wars or arms.Penn's family status, money, and his cunning use of words managed to get him out of jail the many times that he was imprisoned by the angry puritans.
As a young man Penn realized Quakers would never be free to worship in England and became fully dedicated to the development of a safe haven for Quakers and all other religious people in the New World.In 1676 Penn began the intense planning and negotiations for the colony which would meet many obstacles in the following decades.The colony was to be built on the idea that all men and women could own land and worship their own religion.While most of Penn's plans did not work out, one of the biggest things he accomplished was a peaceable relation with the Native Americans.Political disputes, personal debt, and constant pressure from the Crown and surrounding colonies kept William and Pennsylvania in a constant state of turmoil, having Pennsylvania's economic prosperity being one of the few things keeping the experiment alive.By 1700 Pennsylvania had become a state of 15,000 people, largely in part to internal emigration by people from other states wanting to worship freely and escape militia duty.Penn died in 1718 at the age of 73 having had two wives, numerous children, and many trials that he overcame using his prestige, support from the Friends, and his intelligence.He left the right to govern Pennsylvania, a state where people of different religions coexisted, with the Crown and gave the land to twelve people in American and England, including his wife.
This book was full of historical detail regarding Penn's life and gave tremendous insight in to William Penn as a person rather than just what he accomplished.Bringing in Penn's attitudes to issues allowed the book to read smoothly and allowed the reader to understand Penn on a deeper level.I particularly enjoyed how Moretta would tie a lot of events back to Penn's relationships with people important to him; his father, mother, wife, children.This put in perspective that Penn was still a human being and not just a machine who was constantly working to accomplish his next great thing.However, occasionally it would quickly skip over key historical events, requiring one to do further research into the time that Penn was living. Also, perhaps to make the book a smooth read, I frequently found myself wondering the date in which something had occurred.Oftentimes I was confused as to whether it was that in one particular year a tremendous number of events occurred or if that the writer was presenting information that spanned over a number of years.Even when I looked back to pages I had already read, this never became clear to me.
In my opinion the book made the key historical developments in Penn's life unclear because it gave a very similar amount of attention to things that seemed to be of varying importance.In that sense I wish the book had been more succinct in clearly elaborating or stating that certain events had a particularly large impact on history or Penn's life.Also, because there was so much detail about trivial events, I found the book could be repetitive and felt that the information could have been condensed.
Moretta's book left me with a deep respect for Penn and appreciation for the fact that he had been a far from perfect person but had still done tremendous good in his life.I was confused regarding certain historical developments that had been glossed over in the book (The Glorious Revolution, the Great Fire of London, the reign of William and Mary) and was curious to research more.In regards to Penn's development of the state of Pennsylvania, I did find myself wondering how much of his endeavor was a desire for religious freedom and how much was a desire to fulfill his need to wander and quest for economic prosperity.William Penn lived a determined life full of a quest for more and attaining a deeper understanding of these has made me have a strong appreciation for his strength to persevere through the tremendous opposition he met along the way.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Much Needed Book
I am very pleased to find a book on this topic.Although his writing sometimes seems a little more aimed at college/ history students than the general public, John Moretta does a good job of drawing a full, yet succinct, picture of the man and his times.The content and the topic make this book a very worthwhile purchase.
Besides being a valuable lesson on a significant part of our nation's history, there is much to learn from reflection on Penn's life. His journey from being a child of privilege, rejecting that heritage, embracing egalitarianism and eventually returning to a preference for privilege is a good representation of the way many people travel a full circle in their lives.His desire to both profit personally while at the same time helping others with the founding of a colony ended up benefiting others but not himself.The conflict of idealism and financial pragmatism is a dilemna countless individuals with an altruistic bent must confront as well.And there are many other valuable reflections as well.
For more information on the founding of the Quaker movement, see "First Among Friends: George Fox and the Creation of Quakerism" by H. Larry Ingle. ... Read more

8. The Quakers: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
by Pink Dandelion
Paperback: 144 Pages (2008-03-20)
list price: US$11.95 -- used & new: US$6.53
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Asin: 0199206791
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Here is the perfect introductory guide to the history and ideas of the Quakers, one of the world's most fascinating and enigmatic religious groups. Emerging in England in the 1650s as a radical sect challenging the status quo, the Quakers are now best known for their anti-slavery activities, their principled stance against war, and their pioneering work in penal reform. Famous Quakers include Thomas Paine, Walt Whitman, Lucretia Mott,Herbert Hoover, James Dean, Judi Dench, and A.S. Byatt. And while the group still maintains a distinctive worship method to achieve a direct encounter with God, which has been at the heart of the movement since its beginning, Quakers today are highly diverse: some practice a protestant evangelicalism,others are no longer Christian. In this generously illustrated book, Pink Dandelion, the leading expert on Quaker Studies, draws on the latest scholarship to chart the history of the sect and its present-day diversity around the world, exploring its unique approach to worship, belief, theology and language, and ecumenism. It concludes by placing the Quakers in the wider religious picture and predicting its future. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars good primer
This books contains all the basic information that I was after: history, denominations, belief and the possible future of this religion are here presented clearly and thoroughly enough for a small book.
I found the scheme on denominational differences(page 108-109) particularly interesting to really understand the peculiarities within the various Quaker groups.

4-0 out of 5 stars A very information introduction to what can be an enigmatic tradition
THE QUAKERS: A Very Short Introduction by Pink Dandelion is a pretty substantial presentation of Quaker life and belief in 160 pages. Dandelion divides the book into the chapters History, Worship, Belief, Theology and language, Ecumenism and finally The future of Quakerism.

I grew up in a Philadelphia suburb founded by Quakers, but I could never really get a handle on what the religion was all about. Dandelion delineates three clear strains of Quakerism today, from the Evangelicals who have structured services to the Conservatives who balance Scripture and the "inner light" and finally the Liberal Quakers who are not longer explicitly Christian and don't necessary acknowledge the existance of a God. In the final chapter, the author speaks of the probable developments in Quaker demographics, with the first two denominations surviving in the Global South, and the third declining just like other postmodern Christian denominations.

The author notes that Quakers are most visible in protests against war or injustice. The only failing of the book I see is that she does not talk more about the organizations involved and how they are viewed by various Quaker denominations, or how they respond to Cold War allegations that they are Communist fronts. That for me would have made this a perfect introduction.

5-0 out of 5 stars The name says it all!
The Quakers: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

I bought the book with the hope of clarifing & focusing my answers when I am asked about the Friends.It is a great help, easy to read, concise, and to the point.I would recommend it to newcomers, who are begining to gather information, as a starting point. ... Read more

9. Holy Silence: The Gift Of Quaker Spirituality
by J. Brent Bill
Paperback: 147 Pages (2005-05)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$6.33
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Asin: 1557254206
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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An eloquent introduction to Quaker spirituality---for all who are seeking a fresh approach to God.

People of all faiths and backgrounds are drawn to silence. We yearn for it in these busy and difficult times, but often, when silence becomes available, we don't know what to do with it.

For centuries, Quakers have taught that when we are silent, God grants us insights, guidance, and spiritual understanding that is different from what we might realize in our noisy, everyday lives. This wise book invites us to discover this and other unique gifts of the Quaker way. It is a satisfying experience and taste of a spiritual tradition unflinching in its dedication to listening for the sounds and voice of God. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

3-0 out of 5 stars popular quaker theology
"I have often repented of speech," wrote the fourth-century desert father Arsenios, "but never of silence." In this simple and popularly written book, J. Brent Bill introduces readers to the "holy hush" theology and practice of Quaker spirituality. Quakers number only about 200,000 people in the United States, but their influence extends far beyond that tiny remnant. With no creed, no liturgy, no sacred place defined by architecture, no observance of holy days, no sacraments, and no professional clergy, Quaker simplicity revolves around silence, both in personal spirituality and in corporate worship. Silence is what Bill calls the Quaker "sacrament," that place where a believer meets the real presence of Christ. Given the ambient noise in so much of our culture, silence is a gift most believers would do well to cultivate, and Quakers can help show us the way. Throughout his six chapters Bill shares his own personal successes and failures (banging nails on Good Friday, his divorce, visiting a Catholic church, etc.), and intersperses the texts with "Quietude Queries" that serve as guided self-examinations to help readers hear the voice of God. At the end of the book a glossary provides simple definitions for common Quaker terms, while a section called "Words on Silence" gives fifteen annotated suggestions for further reading (but where was Richard Foster?!). Readers will need to consult other books for more technical treatments of Quaker history, theology, and ethics (cf. pacifism), but I will say this--reading Bill's book tempted me to visit the Quaker meeting place not far from my house.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Sacrament of Silence

If you were every wondering what makes Quakers stand out from the rest of the Christian traditions, it is their simplicity, their emphasis on a worship comprised of 'holy silence' and their pacifist stand.They are also known as the "the Society of Friends."Reading this book I could only be tempted to visit the closest Quaker meeting place in my Santa Cruz.

In the tradition of Richard Foster (another great Quaker author - "Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth") - J. Brent Bill expands our horizon about Christian spirituality.Bill focuses on one primary aspect of Quaker life - silence.

In this book I was introduced to the "holy hush" theology and practice of Quaker spirituality.The Friends have their origin in 17th century England, have no liturgy, no creed, no observance of a Christian calendar, no professional clergy, and above all no sacrament (maybe silence is the exception).The simplicity of the Quakers is centered in "silence" - both in their corporate worship and in their personal spiritual life."Holy Silence"six chapters discusses how to find silence amid the noise of daily life, ways to practice silence both individually and communally, and how to listen to God with one's whole heart and mind.

I have never read anything like this before.For someone who values moments of solitude, of escape from noise (external and internal), and deep personal peace, I had a lot to learn from fellow Christian J. Brent Bill.In our post-modern fast-paced society and our chatty & noisy personal lives, "holy silence" can be something very elusive to attain ... but a valuable treasure, nevertheless..

5-0 out of 5 stars A compassionate and devout guide
Holy Silence: The Gift Of Quaker Spirituality by J. Brent Bill ( Executive Vice President of the Indianapolis Center For Congregations Inc.) is an invitation for readers of all faiths to discover spirituality through the Quaker way of listening for the voice of God in silence. Chapters discuss how to find silence amid the noise of daily life, ways to practice silence both individually and communally, and how to listen to God with one's whole heart and mind. "Quietude Queries" such as "Have I ever been a part of a 'non-church' experience where I felt God's presence? What made me feel that God was there?" are suggested for contemplation while experiencing the spiritual transcendence of silence. A compassionate and devout guide recommended to Christian readers of all denominational affiliations.

4-0 out of 5 stars I like it!
I pre-read Holy Silence to see if it would be suitable for my Quaker meeting's study group.I've been a Quaker for 42 years, andHoly Silence is helpful for both the experienced practicer of silent worship and the newcomer.When I recommended the book to our study group, it was with the proviso that while Brent Bill is not at all doctrinaire, he does make heavy use of Christian metaphors, which the Universalists in the group should be prepared to learn from.If the Universalists in your group are similarly non-doctrinaire about their Universalism, they can profit from the book.If some metaphor sticks in someone's craw, my advice would be to challenge the group to brainstorm together how else to express the idea. Throughout the book Bill has inserted opportunities to experience silence while responding to a query.I will recommend to the study group that we respond to the Quietude Queries together, and afterward share what bubbled up to us during the silences. I look forward to reading the book again in the company of good Friends.

5-0 out of 5 stars a book that is true to its title
If any book is true to its title, it is this one. J. Brent Bill beckons us to enter into silence so that we might find the holiness awaiting us there. More than that, he invites us into understanding the Quaker perspective on silence. (By the way, "Quaker" isn't a self-chosen name; it was a term chosenby the Puritans for a group who lived--and lives--as a Society of Friends.) And he examines the interior and exterior barriers to silence that confront us daily, sometimes drawing (with a droll sense of humor) on situations from his own life.

Each chapter poses a "Quietude Query" that asks us to consider such questions as the place of silence in our lives, what songs or words might help us center in silence, or who among those we worship with could use a prayer out of our silence. Bill also explains the phases of worship during a gathering of Friends. With a glossary of "Quaker Words and Phrases" and an annotated list of selections for further reading, this book is a gently simple (but not simplistic) source of education and reflection.
... Read more

10. The People Called Quakers
by D. Elton Trueblood
Paperback: 298 Pages (1985-07)
list price: US$17.00 -- used & new: US$12.00
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Asin: 0913408026
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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D. Elton Trueblood succeeds here in his attempt to depict the Quaker experiment in radical Christianity, with emphasis on their ways of thinking. He does indeed present the Quaker faith as a live option for contemporary men and women.

"The assets of The People Called Quakers come from the author's acquaintance witih all the major current brands of Quakerism, from his well known facility in writing, and from his repeated use of favorite persons in the history from George Fox to the Gurneys or Rufus Jones."

---Henry J. Cadbury ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very thorough introduction to Quakerism
I found this book very informative. It explains various aspects of what Quakers believe and why, and history of the Quaker faith.It discusses silent worship, Quakers view on communion and baptism, the Quaker testimonies, and much more.If you have a questions about what a Quaker believes and why, this is the book to read. ... Read more

11. Puritan Boston and Quaker Philadelphia
by E. Digby Baltzell
Paperback: 585 Pages (1996-01-01)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$29.95
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Asin: 156000830X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars I could not set this book down.
This was a great book. Besides all else mentioned already,it reads like a story. No theoretical arabesques, just nitty gritty factual details so you can see connectednesses for yourself. Baltzell's very factual illustrations of idealisms' realities and human tensions towards cultishness versus civic participation serve as a useful lense and compass to me ever since reading this book. I recommend it whenever I can, particularly to someone who, like me, may at one time, be shocked by a human experience or contrast and want to ask why. I'd recommend it to any one ever involved in a cult. Its readability is comforting and enthralling, and it is deeply seated in a sense of the continuity of history and human nature. I found it a healing book. I'm sorry Mr. Baltzell is no longer alive so I can thank him. Read every crumb of this book. Its thick, but allot the time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating study of social leadership in America
Digby Baltzell uses the history of Philadelphia and Boston as very real examples of two types of leadership.In Boston, the "BostonBrahmin" elites formed a strong upper class that was not tolerant,certainly, but took responsibility for community life and exercised atremendous influence on American culture, politics, arts, and science. InPhiladelphia, the "Proper Philadelphians" were charming,tolerant--and deeply irresponsible, abandoning any role in governing thecity and making it by common agreement the worst run city in the UnitedStates. When Philadelphia needed a mover and shaker, it imported some onefrom outside, like Ben Franklin.

Baltzell takes these difference back tothe colonial period and the dramatic differences in the viewpoints of thePuritans who founded Boston and the Quakers who founded Philadelphia. Healso sees these changes working forward as the old upper-class socializeimmigrant elites into their respective patterns, producing the Kennedy clanout of Boston, and Grace Kelly out of Philadelphia.Many of the pointshere can also be seen in David Hackett Fischer's Albion'sSeed.

Baltzell's bedrock conviction is that every society needs an upperclass and is going to get one whether it likes it or not (the history ofrevolutions proves this rather conclusively).Those who see the very factof social stratification as an personal affront will of course getaffronted.The interesting point he makes though is that many thingsanti-elitists think are opposites actually go together.As he shows fromhis examples, social tolerance goes together with a much more blatantlymoney-conscious and just plain richer upper-class, and societies withwidespread hostility to "elites" also show deep cynicism abouttheir leadership and society in general, a cynicism merited by thegenerally short-sighted and narrowly (as opposed to broadly) selfishbehavior of the upper class.

Does this sound familiar?Baltzell's finalpoint is that in the wake of the sixties, which he compares to the Englishcivil war (1640-1660) environment that spawned the Quakers and released"a host of self-righteous seekers" on the land," Americanleadership has moved much closer to the nakedly plutocratic andirresponsible leadership model found in Philadelphia.And along with thischange in the upper class has grown egalitarianism, openness to immigrants,cynicism, leadership gridlock, and social tolerance. The irony of communalutopianism producing results exactly opposite of what was intended wouldnot have surprised de Tocqueville, Baltzell's great mentor insociology.

Don't think that this book is just about grand theory--it isfilled with a host of fascinating portratits of the two cities' upperclasses, and so contains a good deal of the achievers of America fromcolonial days to World War II. The simple quantitative analysis iseffective and not off-putting. ... Read more

12. A Living Faith: An Historical and Comparative Study of Quaker Beliefs
by Wilmer A Cooper
Paperback: 269 Pages (2000-12-01)
list price: US$24.00 -- used & new: US$20.99
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Asin: 0944350534
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Wilmer Cooper updates this Quaker classic. Books which present a systematic theological reflection on Quaker beliefs are rare. Wilmer Cooper draws on thirty years of teaching theology and social ethics, with a concentration on Quaker studies, for this work. Each Chapter has questions for use by those who wish to use the book for group discussions. Includes a glossary of theological terms. Second Edition ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book
This is a very thorough book regarding Quaker theology. It reviews original beliefs and current Quaker beliefs. It is organized by topic, such as: sin, God, Church, etc.It is also very understandable. I recommend this for any new or old Quaker.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very Good Book
I have recently become interested in learning more about the history of Christianity because I want to know more about my faith.I am not a Quaker but I became interested in Quakerism after touring a Philadelphia meeting house.This book provides an excellent summary of Quaker beliefs that I now consult from time to time.I recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand more about Quakerism.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Book that Answered the Questions that Prompted Me to Read It
This book answered for me many of the questions I had about the different varieties of Quakerism and their historic genealogies.The book is succinctly written.Those with strong theological backgrounds will find it an easier read than those, like myself, with a background primarily in philosophy.If you have read few religious studies books, you will benefit greatly by reading the the book's glossary first.The book has several useful diagrams in its appendices which I found very helpful for visualizing the derivation of the different historical threads and splits of the Society of Friends.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Living Faith: An Historical and Comparative Study of Quaker Beliefs.
For anyone interested in becoming acquainted with traditional/classical Quaker beliefs by reading a single clearly and well-written book, this volume has few peers (none known to me). As with any single-volume work of modest length that deals with a complex theological and social phenomenon that has endured for over 350 years one can find fault, but that would be either a churlish or academic thing to do. The author very clearly sets out his goals, and meets them in an exemplary fashion--by the end of the book one has a clear retrospective of Quakerism.

Each chapter deals with a specific question in the history of Quakerism, starting with the history of the movement and ending with "Future Prospects." Each chapter is a gem of succinct exposition. And, while the sympathies of Prof. Cooper clearly lie with the conservative, Christ-centered view of Quakerism; on the whole he fairly represents the liberal view. There is a dearth of information on Universalist Quakerism, and its opposite of extreme evangelism, but the author clearly warns the reader that his intent is only to present the "mainstream" range of Quaker history.

My one criticism of the work is that in presenting the possible future of Quakerism, Dr. Cooper does not go far enough in laying out its potential. It is obvious that he shares, as I do, Rufus Jones' view that Quakerism is the seed of a movement and not just a Christian sect. But we diverge in our views, in that Wilmer Cooper views Quakerism as the core or essence of Christianity, while I see it as a movement that has transcended its original Christian roots. In my view George Fox, has had the same impact on Christianity as Jesus did on Judaism. Perhaps George Fox still lacks his St. Paul. But that is a matter for another article. For now, I recommend this wonderful volume.

5-0 out of 5 stars great reference book!
I use this book the most when I do any historical or "beliefs" articles on Quakers.As a Quaker, myself, it is true to what I believe, and especially shows what testimonies we value as a people.I would recommend this for Quaker education in your meeting.Great book, get it and read it, especially if you want to learn more about Quakers! ... Read more

13. "Immigration of the Irish Quakers Into Pennsylvania, 1682-1750; With Their Early History in Ireland "
by Albert Cook Myers
Paperback: 534 Pages (2010-06-25)
list price: US$28.99 -- used & new: US$26.09
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Asin: 1849027048
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This book presents the history of the Irish Quakers from their origins in Ireland to their settlement in Pennsylvania. The book is divided into three parts. Part One begins with the planting of Quakerism in Ireland. It then goes on to discuss the rise of ... Read more

14. Brands, Trademarks and Good Will: The Story of the Quaker Oats Company
by Arthur F. Marquette
Hardcover: 274 Pages (1967-01-01)

Asin: B0006BOVBM
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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4-0 out of 5 stars The Story of the Quaker Oats Company. Brands, Trademarks and Good Will
Very good undertaking to show how Quaker Oats came to be what it is. Very complete history. ... Read more

15. Listening to the Light: How to Bring Quaker Simplicity and Integrity Into Our Lives
by Jim Pym
Paperback: 192 Pages (1999-04-01)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$4.00
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Asin: 0712670203
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Quakerism has been a source of inspiration for over 300 years. Combining spirituality with the practical life, its insights have a universal appeal that is particularly relevant to today's world. Quakers deeply value inner peace and tranquility and believe that there is "that of God" within us all. They also have a compassionate determination to alleviate suffering and a profound commitment to peace and non-violence. Listening to the Light shows us how to incorporate Quaker ideals and practices into our lives: to find our own Light-the Divine-within ourselves; to realize that the everyday is spiritual; to simplify our lives and care for the planet; to bring a sense of commitment and integrity to our actions; and to learn to listen. Accessible and full of wisdom, this is a book to turn to when we need to remind ourselves that there is a better way to live. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

1-0 out of 5 stars A True Quaker is a Christian And Cannot Also be a Buddhist

You always have to question the validity of a book written by someone who makes the impossible claim of being both a Quaker AND a Buddhist. The truth is that Jim Pym is neither a Quaker nor a Buddhist. Instead he is a fence-straddler who can't make up his mind on whom he wants to follow. A true Quaker is a follower of Christ and accepts Christ as the Son of God and Savior of the World. A true Quaker recognizes that Jesus is the source of the Inner Light. However, a true Buddhist follows Buddha and his teachings and believes that the truth can be found within one's self, without the need of divine help. Yes, both Buddha and Jesus shared some similar teachings, especially when it came to moral and ethical matters. But there are huge differences between Buddha and Jesus. For example, Buddha never recognized the importance of God and never showed his followers how to pray to or worship God. For Buddha, God was something he just didn't talk about. But Jesus did recognize the supremacy of God and taught his followers how to pray to him, i.e. the Lord's Prayer. And here's another big difference between Buddha and Jesus: Buddha was a mere man who died at the age of 80 without any hope other than to obtain nirvana, a mysterious state of existence that no one has ever adequately explained. In contrast, Jesus was divine, the Son of God who when he died was resurrected and ascended back to heaven to reign by the side of His Father. Without Jesus there is no hope for the world. The same could not be said about Buddha. So let me say that this book holds little weight in my book because the author himself shows very little knowledge of either Quakerism or Buddhism. If Jim Pym was a true Quaker, he would only recognize Christ as his teacher and master. If he was a true Buddhist, he would only recognize Buddha as his teacher and master. But he wants to "have his cake and eat it too," which may work for him in some convoluted way. But it doesn't work for genuine seekers of truth who are wise to heed the Apostle Paul's words at 1 Corinthians 10:21, in which he says, "You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord's table and the table of demons."

4-0 out of 5 stars For those interested in the Quaker way
The book is very useful to clarify the Quaker view of the life and specially the testimonies. Theauthor shares his view of the Quaker worship and provides advice to the reader on how to listen the Light. A good comparison between the Buddhistand Quaker view of the ¨meditation¨ is provided.
In addition to well established Quakers, probably the book can be very helpful for already attenders, relatively new members of the Religious Society of Friends and even for people just interested in know about Quakers and in howto listen the small interior voice.

5-0 out of 5 stars Just about the best overview of Quaker practice
I have read quite extensively in investigating Quaker faith & practice and this is just about the best introduction I've found. This is the one that finally got me to get ... off the couch and seek out a meeting. Elegant, understandable, and personable writing by a guy with an obviously sweet spirit. Wholeheartedly recommended for those seriously considering a move toward Quaker-ism or those who are just interested in making the Quaker spirit part of their life's journey.

5-0 out of 5 stars Simplicity defined
This simple yet complete book provides an explanation of many aspects of Quakerism. Pym's (38 page) introduction alone was a wonderful overview of this most-intereting religion/way of life. I found that the explanation and description of the Meeting for Worship answered so many questions that I had about this aspect of Quakerism.

I liked reading the "Advice and Queries" and learning about Pym's journey towards becoming a Quaker. I would recommend this book to anyone who might want to incorporate some Quaker beliefs into his/her life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Exceptionally clear introduction to Friends
As an attendee of a local meeting for the last year, I have learned a great deal about Quakerism but Jim Pym's book has put all the pieces together for me in a clear, interesting and easily understood style that has significantly enhanced the value I recieve from 'sitting in the light.'From readers merely curious about Quakerism to Confirmed Friends, I highly recommend this wonderful book to anyone with an interest in the Religious Society of Friends. ... Read more

16. Quaker Spirituality: Selected Writings (HarperCollins Spiritual Classics)
by Harpercollins Spiritual Classics
Paperback: 176 Pages (2005-05-01)
list price: US$11.99 -- used & new: US$6.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060578726
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Simplicity in forms of worship, opposition to violence, and the importance of compassionate living and thoughtful listening are hallmarks of the spirituality of the Quakers. From their beginnings in seventeenth–century England to today, the Friends have attempted to live out their belief in the presence of God's spirit within their hearts. This book features the writings of some of the most influential and inspirational Quaker thinkers –– George Fox, John Woolman, Caroline Stephen, Thomas Kelly, and others –– providing a vivid portrait of the beautiful, simple spirituality of the Quakers.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Quaker Spirituality
Great book to get into the minds of Quaker Leaders.It is a gerat history book.

1-0 out of 5 stars This 2005 book is MUCH SHORTER than the Paulist Press 1983 book
Amazon's presentation makes it seem that this book: "Quaker Spirituality: Selected Writings" (HarperCollins Spiritual Classics 2005) is the same as Quaker Spirituality: Selected Writings (Classics of Western Spirituality)" the original 1983 Paulist Press book.It isn't.It is abridged, to the point, in my opinion, of being much less useful as a brief overview of Quaker thought than the original book.

Amazon even presents the first two reviews - which are of the Paulist Press 1983 book- as if they are reviews of this book from Harper Collins 2005.

Amazon, please don't conflate these two books.

The original 1983 book from Paulist Press is a great, albeit brief overview of Quaker writing.It brings together in one place, authors that can be hard to get a hold of; for example, Caroline Stephen.

Five stars to the original 1983 book

One star to the abridged 2005 edition for being too short to be a decent introduction

Zero stars to Amazon for confusing the two.


5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This is a great book for anyone who is interested in reading about Quakerism.I have several books about Quakerism and this one was a good addition to my collection. Easy read!

5-0 out of 5 stars Quaker Library addition
This collection of writings is a great addition for your library or reading list -- whether or not you are a Friend, you'll find a collection of thought provoking writings with an interesting view.

This book has both historical and philosophical views.Though much has changed in the world, and in the opinions of 'modern' Quakers, the core beliefs remain the same -- those who are new to Quakerism, those considering it or those just interested in another view will find this book of help.

5-0 out of 5 stars Quaker wisdom
The Quakers are known for their deeply personal approach to spirituality. The writings of this volume convey just that.This is an absolutelybeautiful collection of reflective writings by men and woman who found theSacred within them.The anthology begins with selections from the"Journal" and the letters of George Fox (1624-1691), the figure around whomthe original Quaker movement crystallized.This anthology includes someselections from the laudatory preface to Fox's "Journal", written by noneother than William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania.The anthology thenincludes the works of other Quakers from the 16th to the 20th centuries. One of the surprising gems of the book are the writings of Thomas Kelly(1893-1941), an American mystic whose life and work are too littleappreciated.Kelly's writings radiate with the power of his mysticalexperience.Overall, this is a profoundly inspirational collection. ... Read more

17. How the Quakers Invented America
by David Yount
Hardcover: 192 Pages (2007-06-28)
list price: US$21.95 -- used & new: US$12.66
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Asin: 0742558339
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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This book shows how the Quakers shaped the basic distinctive features of American life from the days of the founders and the colonies through the revolution and up to the civil rights movement. It also points out how Quaker values like freedom, equality, straightforwardness, and spirituality can be seen in modern day peace advocates. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

2-0 out of 5 stars Personal projections from the author
The book starts out fairly strong, giving the reader a light and readable introduction to Quaker principles and their history in America.Then the book dissolves into a wide-ranging personal account of what the author feels is the authentic Quaker creed, desperately trying to tie it to the America creed.That's fine; it's his opinion.But then the author begins to judge those who came before the Quakers, and also belittles the Quaker-to-be who doesn't believe in Jesus Christ.He pushes hard on the supercession theory, claiming that the Jews were "rescued" from a tradition of too many laws by the newer and more enlightened Christian tradition.I simply cannot imagine any of the kind Quakers in my community expressing opinions like those found in this book.Apparently, the author has not yet seen the light.

1-0 out of 5 stars Well Meant But Deeply Flawed
In the darker days of Quakerism (primarily the 1800s), errant Quakers were disowned by being "read out" of their Meetings. Regrettably, I'd advise the same fate for this book.

First, I should state that I am a fellow Quaker and that Friend Yount clearly means well. He presents a heartfelt case for his personal experience of both Quakerism and America.

However, Yount projects his experience and opinions onto all of Quakerism and all of America. According to Yount, both are "egalitarian, fair, peace loving, charitable, responsible, plainspoken, and honest." In fact Quakers have "contributed more than any other group" to these "founding ideals" and have "long since converted America to their way of thinking." Wow. Really?

The book seems cobbled together from scrap book clippings. When making a point about Quaker theology, Yount will quote Dante, St. Paul and a near-death researcher. The conclusion rambles. The writing is sloppy and the editing worse. In the space of two paragraphs, the word "inferred" is misused and someone sits "bold upright."

Worst of all, the book is riddled with factual errors and generalizations. Do "all" Friends share a "convincement" (wrong use of this Quaker word) about the afterlife? No. Are all Friends in the West and Midwest "programmed" Friends and members of Friends United Meeting who refer to themselves as evangelicals? No. Is there really no Quaker Theology since Robert Barclay? Hardly. Is the Old Testament "the Bible Jesus knew and used?" and does the New Testament "read more like journalism than literature?" Some of the generalizations veer towards offensiveness - for example, characterizing the "good Jew" as one who has to "follow strictly 613 commandments." Other statements oscillate between the theologically questionable and indecipherable: "Quakers believe the traditional sacraments, while worthy, are not essential to a godly life, if only because the majority of God's people around the world don't have access to them as Christians do."

Yount says he came to Quakerism from Catholicism carrying "all that I learned about God in the years before I became a Quaker ... unalloyed and undiminished." That theological burden shows. His attempts at Christian apologetics is conflicted. What does a Quaker mean when he writes: "We honor the creeds?" How can one both laud Quaker ideals as foundational but then deride Quakers for holding on to those ideals (particularly pacifism in Pennsylvania)? When Quakerism and America disagree, Yount's faith seems to lie with America.

I admire Friend Yount's earnestness in offering his experience of Quakerism in America, but I'm afraid this book will confuse and disappoint more than enlighten and inspire.

4-0 out of 5 stars If you destroy the bill of rights---
If you destroy the Bill of Rights in American Constitution,United Nations
lose its foundation of 1948, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights,and will be lost soon. Then,what will happen
to the Earth or Humanity? I love Quakers.We,Japanese,have Pacifist Constitution.

1-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Like many Americans, most of what I knew about the Quakers until a few years ago was related to their pacifism and emphasis on good works.I lumped them together with groups like the Mennonites, Bretheren, Shakers, and even the Amish, without much knowledge of the theological differences between them.After lapsing from the Presbyterian upbringing, I found a new and natural home with the Quakers about two years ago.As a "convinced" Friend, I'm still learning about the historical tradition of the Quakers in America, so this book seemed promising at first glance.

I finished reading it today, and I have to say that it was a major disappointment.Unlike Howard Brinton's rewarding and very thorough "Friends for 350 Years," or even the somewhat dry "Silence and Witness," this book appears to primarily be a disorganized mixture of the author's impressions of the faith.After coming to sweeping, and often inaccurate, generalizations about Quakers, the author attempts to draw connections to core American values.

There are many flaws with his approach.First, his observations are clearly personal and not based on a particularly careful reading of historical documents or sources.As a rule of thumb, if he, his wife, and their clerk of meeting think something, the author then assigns it to all Quakers.There is a bibliography, but the author's understanding of historical documentation is very limited, and his "expertise" is primarily backed up by reference to having been invited to give lectures at various places.

Second, the author has a strangely static understanding of core American values. Misunderstanding colonial America, he idealizes Pennsylvania under the Quakers, and then directly ties tolerance today to tolerance in that colony, as if the civil rights movement, immigration, and other social movements have had no place in history.I respect early Quakers as much as anyone, and can only hope to live up to examples like Woolman as a new Quaker myself, but Yount's account is simply fantasy.

Third, even if he was making better supportive arguments, it would still be difficult to follow the author's main theme through the book.Over and over, the writing turns into strings of only loosely related sentences.It is choppy and unpleasant to read, and in several instances, two sequential sentences directly contradict each other. Even when he tries to sum up an earlier book by referring to ten points about living in the moment, at least two of the points are logically inconsistent with each other.As if trying to reach a page quota, he also quotes excessively in several chapters.

I could go on, but there's not much of a point.I suggest Brinton's book, or others with multiple strong ratings on Amazon.This one isn't a good choice.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lots to Learn in just 144 Pages
I heard the start of a radio interview with the author.I picked up and then quickly lost the signal from a North Carolina NPR station, but the topic prompted me to order the book.If you are a non-Quaker and you have attended a Quaker school even just for a couple of years, this book can help you understand how Quakers may have influenced your way of thinking.The book also provides a good amount of historical context along with explanations of aspects of the faith and practice like regional differences. ... Read more

18. The Spirit of the Quakers (The Spirit of X)
by Geoffrey Durham
Paperback: 256 Pages (2010-11-16)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$9.70
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Asin: 0300167369
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Product Description

Who are the Quakers, what do they believe, and what do they practice? The Religious Society of Friends—also known as Quakers-—believes that everyone can have a direct experience of God. Quakers express this in a unique form of worship that inspires them to work for change in themselves and in the world. In The Spirit of the Quakers, Geoffrey Durham, himself a Friend, explains Quakerism through quotations from writings that cover 350 years, from the beginnings of the movement to the present day.

Peace and equality are major themes in the book, but readers will also find thought-provoking passages on the importance of action for social change, the primacy of truth, the value of simplicity, the need for a sense of community, and much more. The quoted texts convey a powerful religious impulse, courage in the face of persecution, the warmth of human relationships, and dedicated perseverance in promoting just causes.

The extended quotations have been carefully selected from well-known Quakers such as George Fox, William Penn, John Greenleaf Whittier, Elizabeth Fry and John Woolman, as well as many contemporary Friends. Together with Geoffrey Durham’s enlightening and sympathetic introductions to the texts, the extracts from these writers form an engaging, often moving guide to this accessible and open-hearted religious faith.
... Read more

19. The Quaker colonies: a chronicle of the proprietors of the Delaware
by Sydney George Fisher
Paperback: 268 Pages (2010-07-30)
list price: US$27.75 -- used & new: US$19.90
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Asin: 1176468111
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This scarce antiquarian book is included in our special Legacy Reprint Series. In the interest of creating a more extensive selection of rare historical book reprints, we have chosen to reproduce this title even though it may possibly have occasional imperfections such as missing and blurred pages, missing text, poor pictures, markings, dark backgrounds and other reproduction issues beyond our control. Because this work is culturally important, we have made it available as a part of our commitment to protecting, preserving and promoting the world's literature. ... Read more

20. The Barn at the End of the World: The Apprenticeship of a Quaker, Buddhist Shepherd
by Mary Rose O'Reilley
Paperback: 344 Pages (2001-10-10)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$5.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1571312544
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Transcendence can come in many forms. For Mary Rose O'Reilley a year tending sheep seemed a way to seek a spirituality based not on climbing out of the body but rather on existing fully in the world, at least if she could overlook some of its earthier aspects. The Barn at the End of the World follows O'Reilley in her sometimes funny, sometimes moving quest. Though small in stature, she learns to flip very large sheep and help them lamb. She also visits a Buddhist monastery in France, where she studies the practice of Mahayana Buddhism, dividing her spare time between meditation and dreaming of French pastries.Amazon.com Review
Author Mary Rose O'Reilley is decidedly eclectic. Sheconfidently blends sheep tending with her Quaker background as well asher passion for Mahayana Buddhism (a form of Buddhism taught byVietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh). This may sound like the recipe fora soup of spiritual mush, but nothing could be further from thetruth. Like Anne Lamott, O'Reilley also happens to be a hystericallyfunny storyteller who understands the importance of humility whenwriting spiritual autobiography. (One reviewer called O'Reilley a"social anthropologist from the Planet Mongo, a stand-up mystic goingfor the belly laugh...")

Whether she's talking about grief overdying lambs, the plague of Monkey Mind, flipping sheep, or a barnyardfashion crisis, O'Reilley keeps her metaphors down to earth and herepiphanies humble. The structure is especially inviting: a collectionof brief essays of only about three to five pages each. But thiscollection also reads like a journey with a beginning and an end. Itstarts with O'Reilley as a college professor who decides to try somepart-time animal husbandry at a local farm and ends with her finding anew direction in life that we can only hope will inspire her to writea sequel. --Gail Hudson ... Read more

Customer Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars evocative, deep and delicious read
Plenty to enjoy in this book. O'Reilly's writing style is relaxed but precise. She refers to reality in the barn and to perceptions about reality from her experiences with a variety of spiritual practices. Moving from her own explorations and through her daily life events, she reveals parts of the path that many of us are traveling. I love the gentleness, kindness, openness of her view. She shares the smallest things, and the most vast, including her joyous "shape music," and her tangle of inner dialogues while visiting Plum Village, her physical wrestling with the care of sheep, and her deep inner respect for those whose work it is to tend the earth and its beings.I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys good writing, humor in the face of life and it's twists, and a dip in the pool with a spiritual seeker.

5-0 out of 5 stars Meditation Hug
I requested and received this book as a gift 2 years ago. I read about 40 pages and then for some reason I left it on the night stand with a bookmark in the place where I had stopped. I picked it up again recently when I was down with a respiratory infection and feeling sorry for myself.

I've enjoyed Mary Rose O'Reilley as an author who can nudge me out of such a place. Her book Radical Presence got me over a bad attitude about teaching. Her book of poems Half Wild saw me through the year before I retired when I was half in and half out of a professional mind. Now The Barn at the End of World has offered up pages of wisdom and load of notes about things I want to remember.

Here is a favorite line: "My religious nature is omnivorous. I can worship anything that occupies a certain slant of light." I listened differently after reading this: "We habitually ignore impulses in our lives that don't fit the cultural script." I volunteered to help a friend on a llama farm after following O'Reilley's adventures in the sheep barn--not romantically but ready to shovel shit with a purpose. Her honest report about her time at Plum Village gave me hope! Those retreats are a hell that have taught me much but more importantly she reminded me that "The universe is such an efficient school." I don't have to go to a retreat to learn. Best of all is learning the meditation hug: "Go deeply inside yourself and say: 'breathing deeply I open like a flower.' Then hug. Three times." I'm so glad I dusted this book and kept reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars Catalyst for my own journey
I beg to differ, as one of the earlier reviewers stated, that this book does not offer spiritual fulfillment.I found it awakening many slumbering treasures that I have neglected over the past few years, caught up in other things in my life.I thought it was a delightful treat.I would agree that there is little to no spiritual direction, but it does not purport to be an "owner's manual" for any spirituality.

I would also kindly disagree about its lack of plot.While the writing is more stream-of-consciousness than one typically expects for an autobiography, there is a movement throughout the book which one can follow, and it is not to "nowhere."

I am not a shepherdess myself, and there were times when I thought "ew" (get it - ew/ewe - pun intended!) when presented with graphic descriptions of sheeep husbandry, but it was all part of parcel of the journey.This is definitely one of those books in which the joy is in the journey, and thank you, Mary Rose, O'Reilly, for taking us along!

I was fortunate enough to have found this book in a happy happenstance.I was waiting for colleagues at our local quirky microbrewery on a Friday after work, went over to the shared bookshelf and pulled this off.I intended to return it when I finished, but I think I will donate another book to their library, as this one is too precious to let go!I intend for it to be one of those few books that I re-read over and over.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Spiritual Memoirs
My first impressions of this book were that it was weird. That really describes the first section and a half of this book. It *is* weird reading about the excrutiating details of sheep farming coupled with deep religious insights. But it was weird in a good way, like waking up one morning in the middle of the winter at 6 AM and having the sun already be risen. The further along in the book I went, the more I enjoyed her weird combination of sheep farming, Buddhist retreat, music, and Quaker imagery. I found myself thinking about what she just said constantly; quite frankly, it was an absolute inspiration to me, especially when she starts delving into her life at Plum Village. Her format also makes the book easy to read. You can pick it up for just 5 minutes at a time. With some memoirs, the format of short essays makes the memoir feel disjointed; with this one, it makes it feel whole. I've read many memoirs and many spiritual/religious books. If I had to give a list of my top 3, this book would be on it.

2-0 out of 5 stars Didn't interest me
I found this book boring.Her message was good, but her delivery did nothing for me. ... Read more

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