Culture Articles

Poem: ...passeth all understanding (Philippians 4:7)

19 August 2021 | by Stephen Yeo

'This grass, that star among and between in here, over there without membrane or integument. ' | Good Free Photos on Unsplash

Not a bit of this and that, but tarmac and vapour-trails. Every where? Everything else. This grass, that star among and between   in here, over there without membrane or integument.

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Salter Lecture 2021: Quaker Values in South Africa’s Struggle, by Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge

29 July 2021 | by Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge

‘I have learned that freedom is a constant struggle and that every generation must play their part.’ | Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge

The Quaker Socialist Society’s (QSS)Salter lecture, as most Friends will know, is named after social reformers Ada and Alfred. This year’s lecturer, Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, former deputy minister of state in South Africa, began by speaking of their ‘amazing lives’. The pair were not thought to have had...

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Jews Don’t Count, by David Baddiel

29 July 2021 | by Tony Stoller | 2 comments

'Baddiel’s challenge is to people who are fighting against homophobia, disablism, transphobia and, particularly, racism.' | Book cover of Jews Don’t Count, by David Baddiel

Many Quakers feel uncomfortable when approaching the issue of anti-Semitism. This year there have been firm statements from Friends House condemning the activities of the Israeli government, but nothing specifically about the increasingly violent incidents of anti-Semitism in this country. It is almost as if some Quakers feel that Jews...

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We gather

29 July 2021 | by Dana Littlepage Smith | 1 comment

'Then, we gathered each week round a broken branch of cherry, or three camellias.' | Annie Spratt @ Unsplash

Then, we gathered each week round a broken branch of cherry, or three camellias: one bruised by gusts; one infurled like the fist of an infant, another opening to perfection. Now we gather round the light of this screen: its quilt work of faces stitched by the unseen. We gather...

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Hello, Stranger, by Will Buckingham

22 July 2021 | by Kathleen Bell | 1 comment

Book cover of Hello, Stranger: How we find connection in a disconnected world, by Will Buckingham |

I was only a few pages into Hello, Stranger when I realised I wished to commend this book to fellow Quakers. Its subjects, which include the experience of being a stranger and the welcome we offer others, challenged me to consider what our current concern with inclusion requires.

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Rebelling for Life, by Sue Hampton

15 July 2021 | by Helen Meads | 1 comment

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This is a short book: a collection of poetry, short stories and other prose dating from 2019 and 2020. Sue starts with a heart-rending wail at the climate crisis. The first poem, written in a police cell after arrest during the London arms fair, takes us through: her physical sensations; the Meeting...

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What White People Can Do Next: From allyship to coalition, by Emma Dabiri

15 July 2021 | by Jonathan Doering

‘If we all embraced the need for greater justice, everyone would benefit.’ | Book cover of What White People Can Do Next: From allyship to coalition, by Emma Dabiri

After Derek Chauvin’s sentencing for the murder of George Floyd, Floyd’s sister, Bridgett, said: ‘The sentence… shows that matters of police brutality are finally being taken seriously. However, we have a long way to go… before black and brown people finally feel like they are being treated fairly...

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Censorship Overruled: An alternative history of 1918, by John Ellison

08 July 2021 | by Christine Hayes

Detail from book cover of Censorship Overruled: An alternative history of 1918, by John Ellison |

John Ellison’s short book opens at the beginning of 1918, when there was much discontent over food shortages and prices in Britain. There were many calls for peace, stimulated by Russia’s socialist revolution in 1917. It concentrates on the following eleven months, January to November, with Britain centre-stage.

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Undercover Trophy Hunter: Britain’s top 20 hunters revealed, by Eduardo Goncalves

01 July 2021 | by Julie Hinman

'Some describe the killing as a compulsion – "like mainlining heroin".' | Book cover of Undercover Trophy Hunter: Britain’s top 20 hunters revealed, by Eduardo Goncalves

Portsmouth Friend Eduardo Goncalves’ fourth book on trophy hunting explores this – shockingly thriving – British community. Eduardo was once an investigative journalist and he uses this skill to take us into the world and mind of those who enjoy recreational killing. For a year he went undercover posing as someone seeking...

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Psalm for a digital age

01 July 2021 | by Harvey Gillman | 1 comment

'It could be, I know, that your silence itself was the response that I needed.' | Erik Araujo on Free Images

I sent you a message. You stopped answering a time ago. On my knees I begged to know what name you had become. Your silent laughter filled the multiverse. I consulted the address book and called again all the names I found there. I shouted, whispered, coaxed, wheedled, texted even....

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