Culture Articles

To Paulette

20 January 2022 | by Joanna Dales

'By singing words they taught us – so to assault Evil and hate with love' | by Miguel Bautista on Unsplash

And have you taught the Quakers how to sing? Us Quakers, who for more than twelve-score years Have stilled our voices and made deaf our ears To music, lest it hinder focussing Upon the Light within, life’s seed and spring. We were mistaken: you have stilled our fears, By...

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The Quaker Arts Network greeted 2022 with a celebratory concert of songs. John Sheldon was there

13 January 2022 | by John Sheldon

'The final song was Sally Beamish’s ‘In the stillness’, an advent carol.' | of Sally Beamish © Ashley Coombes

We started with ‘We do not own the world’ by Jenny Vickers. This is from a collection of Jenny’s settings of the Advices & queries and was presented as an audio-visual display. There was an uplifting approach to the music with the emphasis on ‘Rejoice in the splendour of...

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Of small and cumulative acts

13 January 2022 | by Dana Littlepage Smith

'Earth plodder, I am too often uncomprehending. Gather me, with friends, into a yielding, ready green…' | by Jordan Whitt on Unsplash

Come gentle Shaper, caress my acts into a quieter fire. I am tired. I have forgotten the music of silent deeds. Sweep me into the threshing floor where corn and chaff are one until the gold begins to light the discerning into the willing stream.

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World Politics Since 1989, by Jonathan Holslag

13 January 2022 | by Reg Naulty

Book cover and detail of World Politics Since 1989, by Jonathan Holslag |

The quotation at the beginning of this impressive book indicates a concern for morality: ‘No society is fortunate when its walls are strong while its morals are in ruins.’ Morality forms part of the book because of its connection with economics. In the west, a huge percentage of wealth is...

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Lover of Souls, by Journeyman Theatre

06 January 2022 | by Fred Ashmore

'A one-woman dramatisation of key moments in the life of Elizabeth Hooton, early Quaker and mentor to George Fox.' | Lynn Morris as Elizabeth Hooton

Don’t Journeymen Theatre come up with surprises for us all? Perhaps their best known play on a Quaker theme is Red Flag over Bermondsey, but there’s so much more in their body of work. Friends and guests flocked to Kingston Quaker Centre last month to watch a performance...

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Another journey

23 December 2021 | by Roger Iredale

'On pitted tracks they crept below the settlements where olive groves still smouldered. Came out only when checkpoints got them in their sights.' | by Daniel Vogel on Unsplash

A hellish trip, that drag through rocks as blank as faces in a coma, for two such undertravelled, simplish souls. Their pathways glinted over carcases of hills like ribs picked smooth by vultures where dogs as daft as donkeys brayed the slightest scrape.

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The arts, says Quaker faith & practice, can be seen as a ‘manifestation of God’.

23 December 2021 | by Various

'The wonder of life that is presented in great art and true religion.’ |

Joseph Jones, editor, the Friend I haven’t been able to settle to online Meeting for Worship. Fortunately, as Horace B Pointing noted, ‘The revelations of God are not all of one kind. Always the search in art, as in religion, is for the rhythms of relationships, for the unity,...

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On falling in the river with Margaret Fell

16 December 2021 | by Dana Littlepage Smith

'When I sat down, the silence was already rising, a river of quick fire.' | nico_blue on iStock

‘So I sat me down in my pew again, and cried bitterly’ Margaret Fell. 1694 When I sat down, the silence was already rising, a river of quick fire. Like a body, flowing, it called to me. Quaking, I fell whole, no jot, no tittle withheld but all of me – falling. ...

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Duppy Conqueror, by Robert Beckford (My Theology series)

16 December 2021 | by Frank Regan

'To read him is to glimpse an experience of God through a lens quite unlike that of our Society’s white majority.' | Book cover of Duppy Conqueror, by Robert Beckford (My Theology series)

Robert Beckford is a black theologian and broadcaster. His theological project is to rethink liberation theologies for second and third generation black British people. ‘How can people racialised as black conceive God, Jesus, and the Spirit within our social and political worlds?’ he asks. Can theology – talking about God – confront...

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Innocent ground

09 December 2021 | by Angela Arnold

'...anything but too deeply trodden, churned – by the endless roil of thoughts past, future, or never...' | Gabriel Jimenez on Unsplash

How then to be anything but hard smooth and stone faced (practised, all set?) when the sower comes; anything but too deeply trodden, churned – by the endless roil of thoughts past, future, or never – to make her welcome, to offer him a fit place?

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