Culture Articles

On the quiet

26 January 2023 | by Bob Ward

...while there is time to share with friends a calm stillness... | by Ben White on Unsplash

No, not the stasis   of the railway waiting room,   people held between arrival   and hopes for a departure,   each coddling their isolation   by nosing deeply in a paper   or fingering restlessly   the keypad on their phone,   wondering why the train runs late ...

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Quaker Shaped Christianity: How the Jesus story and the Quaker way fit together, by Mark Russ

19 January 2023 | by Jonathan Wooding

'Could Quakerism be Christianity’s future-proofing against the death of holiness?’ | Book cover of Quaker Shaped Christianity: How the Jesus story and the Quaker way fit together, by Mark Russ

All Quaker-shaped human beings should read Mark Russ’s book, please. Its title is intended to appeal, it seems, to Christians who are not Quakers and want to know why Quakerism has to be a thing at all. But it also serves to remind Christianity-phobic Friends that the ‘forgetting of...

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Home to the harbour lights

19 January 2023 | by Rosie Adamson-Clark

'Like 2 blinking eyes, Guiding vessels to safety, Never dimming, On in all weathers...' | by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Across the ink dark oily sludge, It could not be called water, Surely not, Muck that flowed slow As treacle from the dented Tin in our kitchen cupboard,

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The amulet

12 January 2023 | by Karima Brooke

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‘I have no desire to make windows         into men’s souls.’ The judge echoed the queen, conscious of irony and the risk of own goals. In her domain, rhetoric flows. ‘We’ll pray for him; tell us his name.’

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A Simple Faith in a Complicated World: One Quaker’s journey through doubt to faith, by Kate McNally

12 January 2023 | by Harvey Gillman

‘For me, Quakerism isn’t so much about religion as about relationship with God.’ | Book cover for A Simple Faith in a Complicated World: One Quaker’s journey through doubt to faith, by Kate McNally

This book is an introduction to the Quaker way. Most of these are written by convinced Friends trying to make sense of this convincement. The usual dilemmas must be faced: the Quaker way is experiential, so each journey is personal and unique. The language used by Friends is tentative. The...

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The Atheist’s Guide to Quaker Process: Spirit-led decisions for the secular, by Selden W Smith

12 January 2023 | by David Boulton

'Selden’s faith in humanity to do better is a faith of radical hope.’ | Book cover for The Atheist’s Guide to Quaker Process: Spirit-led decisions for the secular, by Selden W Smith.

Pendle Hill Quaker Center has a long tradition of publishing Quaker pamphlets that challenge, inform and inspire. This one, number 472, ticks all three boxes. Its target readership is the growing number of non-Quaker nontheists who are employed by Quaker organisations: the men and women recruited partly because there aren’t...

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Children of the Stone City, by Beverley Naidoo

05 January 2023 | by Beverley Naidoo

‘The publicity for the book says it was inspired by the many inequalities that exist in our world, and for me the allegories with Palestine are clear.’ | Book cover of Children of the Stone City, by Beverley Naidoo

Two young siblings use music to resist the authorities, who mistreat and oppress them. Little sister Leila plays Beethoven’s Ode to Joy on her flute, to let her brother know his family is in the overcrowded military court. There, handcuffed and shackled, he’s being led off to solitary...

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Reconsidering Reparations, by Olúfẹmi O Táíwò

05 January 2023 | by Olúfẹmi O Táíwò

'It would make a great study text for Quakers seeking to understand the issues more deeply, though it would also no doubt spark fierce arguments.' | Book cover of Reconsidering Reparations, by Olúfẹmi O Táíwò

Olúfémi Táíwò is an academic philosopher who works in the intersection of climate justice and colonialism. This book has helped me better understand some of the issues.

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Early Christian Anchorite

05 January 2023 | by Rosemary Mathew

'Where in this cankered earth can peace be found?' | by Andriyko Podilnyk via Unsplash

To escape this world’s contagion, I will go Forth to the wilderness and build me there A shelter; or a cave find in the hills. Thus will I loose myself from Satan’s ills.

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Poem: ‘What the year has left undone’, from the Twelfth month issue, 1854

22 December 2022 | by Henry Ware Jr.

It is not what my hands have done,   That weighs my spirit down, That casts a shadow on the sun,   And over earth a frown: It is not any heinous guilt,   Or vice by men abhorred; For fair the frame that I have built,   A fair...

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