Reading for Renewal within A Tradition

I’ve compiled some questions from my notes I took while reading Alasdair MacIntyre’s Whose Justice, Which Rationality?

As I read Quaker history and theology I try to keep in mind these questions because they help to get at some essential issues that my tradition faces.

  • Find the Primary Texts – what gets quoted the most? Who are the main characters? How are they understood in relationship to the rest of the people involved in the group?
  • Looking outside the tradition what gets used — phrases, texts, philosophical and theological assumptions.
  • As the tradition gets older – what gets added and what gets dropped? This is in relation to practices, as well as formative texts, structures, etc.
  • Why are certain phrases, texts, and ideas getting used? This helps get at the context, the conflicts the people face and their response to these variables.
  • Longevity of the use of texts, phrases, practices. How do these things differ in relationship to where the groups are located geographically? Are there specific things that get added, dropped due to where the people are located?
  • How were the texts used? How did they help for Practices and a concept of virtues?
  • How were they rejected inside the group? How were they rejected outside the group?
  • I am working on creating an outline for my final paper for Nancey Murphy from last quarter and many of these questions are going to help shape how I look at the Friends’ tradition, the particular practices and virtues they espouse and the issues they faced.

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