I’ve been reading and writing a ton while here at woodbrooke, which I suppose is good since that’s why I came here!? I just finished a fourth section to my final paper, it was on Martin Davie’s analysis of why and how Liberal Quakerism became the predominate form of belief in Britain. It took me a couple days to hammer it out, and it will take me as least as long to edit it, because it’s pretty long. I just quickly added up the word count on my various sections and I’ve got over 15,000 words so far, which isn’t too shabby. Actually, I think that’s as many words as I am required to have for my final paper for this tutorial, but I haven’t even written my conclusion yet, or added any of that fun juicy stuff where you get to argue your main points, etc.
So for those of you curious as to what I’ve been working on here’s a brief overview. I’ve been reading a lot of different things, but here are some of the more interesting books I’ve gone through (or am currently working on).
The Things I am Reading
- Covenant Crucified, By Douglas Gwyn
- British Quaker Theology Since 1895, By Martin Davie
- An Introduction to Quakerism, By Pink Dandelion
- Reasons for Hope, By John Punshon
- Creation of Quaker Theory, By Pink Dandelion
- Portrait in Grey, By John Punshon
- Testimony and Tradition
- A Precarious Peace, By Chris Huebner
- A Fragile Absolute, By Slovoj Zizek
- Who’s Afraid of Postmodernism? By James K Smith
My favorites in this list have been:
- Covenant Crucified – a Theological/Historical reading of Quakerism where Gwyn attempts to translate Quakerism into postmodern categories using a holistic account of covenant that is rooted with early Quaker thought (the first and last chapters are the kicker in this one).
- Creation of Quaker Theory – A selection of Quaker authors all putting forth their current theories on Quaker history, theology and sociology (My favorites in here were the essays by Punshon and a woman called Gay Pilgrim).
- A Precarious Peace – I am reading it for a book review due to Quaker Life very soon, but have found tons of uses for this project in it. This book is absolutely incredible and probably the best book I’ve read this year. It’s definately rearranging wires in my head.
The Things I’m Writing About
Basically, all my reading has been focused at looking at a few Quaker scholars who have sought to engage the Quaker tradition both in terms of its history, and its contemporary life. I’ve setup a criteria based on my work on Alasdair MacIntyre, which works as a rubric for me to evaluate how well these scholars have done at engaging their tradition in a MacIntyrean sense (which I believe is our best approach currently). I have evaluated in depth, Reasons for Hope, Covenant Crucified, and British Quaker Theology. My next part is to suggest, where I think these scholars have done well, what I think they are missing, and develop my own pattern or method for a Quaker theology that engages the tradition in a MacIntyrean way.
I’ve got 2.5 weeks till Emily and I begin our whirlwind trip around the United-Kingdom and I think I can do it (she arrives on Saturday)! And I’d really like to have everything done before I go. So if any of you feel up to writing something let me know we can divide this up and get done a lot faster your know!
8 responses to “LIfe At Woodbrooke Part 2 | Reading and Writing”
as i am not a quaker, some of these books probably won’t make much sense to me, even though they sound really cool…
who is this gay pilgrim person? in fact, do you know of any queer quaker theology out there in written form? i know peterson toscano has done some great activism work, but i also know that many queer people have sought and found refuge in the quaker tradition. let me know if you know of any essays, books, etc, that might be good.
again, i find it interesting that so much of what you’re writing parallels what is happening in evangelicalism in the united states. again, i am happy that questions are being asked even if the answers don’t come right away. i feel fortunate to have brothers and sisters in christ that come from so many different traditions and theological viewpoints…it enriches my own experience and gives me hope that we can in our generation move towards a kingdom mindset, one which acknowledges the value and importance of our denominational traditions but values above all else reaching a hurting world with the love of christ. good work…
(oh, and you never sent that anglican quote on twitter…what was it? if i were in the uk right now i’d totally make a pilgrimage to canterbury…haha!)
Sometimes “Gay” just means happy… or is just a name… Though “Pilgrim” was a self-chosen name if I remember my conversation with er about the name correctly. You might want to look at http://www.quaker.org/flgbtqc/resources.html.
Yeah I asked Ben Pink Dandelion about it today Esteban, and he didn’t know who to recommend. Said he would have suggested Peterson, I guess you’re going to have to fill that spot?!
It might be just part of the territory for being a Quaker Scholar:
I don’t have a good idea for a name for me yet! Maybe that means I’m doomed…
So apologies if I’m late on this one, but is this for a Birmingham/Woodbrooke distance-ed degree in Quaker Studies?
Hey, I didn’t realise you were in the UK.
How long are you around?
we’re heading up to scotland tomorrow, then ireland, paris, norfolk and home (that is our next 2.5 weeks). where are you?
I’m in Northampton in the Midlands (Jct. 16 off of the M1).
Pop-in if you have an excuse to drive through!
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