Remaking a Quaker Studies Syllabus Using The Quaker World

With the publication of our new book Quaker World, I am having fun remaking my syllabus for my Introduction to Quakerism class this time around.

Unfortunately, while the hardback version of The Quaker World is too expensive for students to purchase, faculty interested in teaching subjects related to the Quaker tradition will find an outstanding amount of short, accessible chapters on various Quaker subjects.

Rhiannon Grant, my co-editor, and I set out to create a book that was aimed at non-Quaker undergraduates interested in learning about Quakerism. In other words, as teachers of Quaker Studies, we set out to publish a book we would want to use in our classes.

(This is not to say that there aren’t other great books, many of which I already use in my Quakerism classes).

Besides plenty of short, pithy chapters on important Quaker Subjects, there are chapters from Quakers around the world, offering varying perspectives on Quaker theology and experience; as well as, some really great biographies that are perfect for the classroom, helping move from macro to micro examples of Quakerism.

Here are some of the chapters I’m adopting into my REL110 – Quakerism: An Introduction class this semester and the headings they fall under (note: these are not all the topics we will have in the class, I’ve cut some because they weren’t relevant to the Quaker World, and these are not necessarily all the readings I assign for these class periods days, just the ones from the Quaker World):

Visiting the Quaker Archives

  • Quaker Archives in the United States by Mary Crauderueff (p. 385)
  • Dismantling White Supremacy in Quaker Archives: A Case Study (p. 390)

Early Quakers in Context – Biography as Theology: George Fox and the Early Friends Message and Movement

  • Biography of Margret Fell by Kristianna Polder (p. 151)

Quietism and the Transformation of American Quakerism

  • Read: John Woolman and the Delaware Indians: Envisioning Cross-Cultural Peace in a Time of Conflict – 355
  • Stubborn Friends and Native Americans in the Long Nineteenth Century – Damon Akins – p. 77

Underground Railroad History

  • Read: Networked to Freedom, But Not My Neighbor: Complicating Legacies of Quakers and the Enslaved Population of North Carolina by Krishauna Hines-Gaither (p. 285)
  • Biography: Sarah Mapps Douglas – Abigail Lawrence (p. 151)

Biography as Theology & The Practice of Spiritual Autobiography

  • Read: The Quaker World: Quaker Spiritual Autobiography by Andrew Pisano (p. 159)
  • Biography: The Quaker World: Hannah Whitall Smith by Carole Spencer (p. 185)

Divergence: The Quaker Tradition Undergoing Change: The rise of Evangelical, Liberal, Conservative, and Convergent movements

  • Progressive Friends – Chuck Fager

The rise of Liberal-liberal Quakerism

  • Read: Movements within Quakerism – Liberalism – Isaac Barnes May – p. 103
  • How Far the Theological Message of Liberal British Quakerism Has Changed Over the Last Fifty Years – Hugh Jones

The Rise of Evangelical Friends

  • Read: Jon K. Kershner  p. 290
  • Read: Richard Foster – Jennifer M. Buck (p. 88)
  • Read: Evangelical Friends – Jennifer Buck

The Conservative Quaker Movement and Convergent Friends

  • Read: H. Louise Brown Wilson – Lloyd Lee Wilson (p. 118)

New Movements among Friends: Convergence and Global Quakerism

  • Read: Quakers in Bolivia: The Beginning of Bolivian Friends p31
  • Read: Quakers in Africa – Robert Wafula p. 5
  • Read: Cambridge – Global Quakerism – pg 49
  • Read: Maia Carter Hallward – Quakers in the Middle East

Quaker Witness in the world today

  • Read: Quaker organizations – Dianne Randall – p 299 – Quaker Advocacy for Peace
  • Read: Seeing Peace Quakers Respond to War 106
  • Read: QW Loving that of God – Boswell – 195

Quakers, Silence, Queries & Clearness Committees

  • The religious roots of the Quaker way by Stuart Masters
  • Worshiping at the edge of words: the work of silence and speech, and meeting for worship by an Wrightson

Meeting For Worship & Communal Discernment: Opportunities and Obstacles Thursday

  • Quaker decision making meetings through the ages, consistency and variation by Judith Roads
  • Quaker decision making process the case of Burundi yearly meeting by David Niyonzima

Quakers and Culture
(Choose Two)

  • Read: Quaker Dress by Deb Fuller
  • Modern understandings of plain dress by Mackenzie Morgan
  • Quakers and Marriage by Kristianna Polder
  • Quakers and Other Animals by Chris Lord

Quakers and Service

  • Quaker Work camps by Greg Woods
  • The incorporation of committees: the development of quaker institutions by Robin Mohr.

Dress Rehearsal for the Future: Quakers and Difference (select readings to choose from on racism, LGBTQ, and disability)

  • The work of equality: supporting Quaker women – Ashley Wilcox
  • The Body is Enough – Ben Wood
  • Brian Blackmore – A short History of Quaker inclusion of Gay and Lesbian People

There are so many more great chapters that I wasn’t able to include for now but I think this is a good start. I look forward to continuing to dive into the depths of this book and find more uses for it at Guilford and in the work I do with Quaker meetings.