‘Titles are manifest in a society predicated on the promulgation of undeserved inequality.’

Name dropping: Barry Williamson calls for a rejection of titles

‘Titles continue to pervade life now as they did in Fox’s time.’ | Photo: Randy Fath / Unsplash.

Quakers have long eschewed the use of titles. Early Friends made excoriating commentary on the matter. They made a distinctive break from social norms by refusing to use them. But this practice seems to have lapsed. As if to confirm the neglect, ‘Titles’ does not appear in the index of the current Quaker faith & practice, nor in the 1959 version. Has the matter become covert because it is perceived as no longer relevant, or embarrassing? I suggest that our rejection of titles is still relevant and must be reinstated as an essential element of our testimony to equality.

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