Reviews Articles

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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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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The Doctor, by Robert Icke (Duke of York’s Theatre, London)

08 December 2022 | by Ruth Tod

'What struck me most about this story is the power of strongly-held beliefs to uphold our sense of identity and security, and thus divide us.' | Juliet Stevenson in ‘The Doctor’

This brilliant play exposed some of my worst fears about the future of human beings. The story turns round a well-known, highly successful doctor trying to save the life of a fourteen-year-old, who has contracted sepsis after a failed, self-administered abortion.

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How to be a Refugee: Life lessons by one who escaped the Holocaust, by Irene Gabriele Gill

24 November 2022 | by Glen Williams

‘They threw themselves into political action in support of CND.’ | Book cover of How to be a Refugee: Life lessons by one who escaped the Holocaust, by Irene Gabriele Gill

Oxford Friend Irene Gill has written a truly remarkable book about the first eighty-nine years of her life. It begins with how she, her parents and siblings arrived in Oxford in 1939. Both parents were part Jewish, and needed to escape from Germany. Her father found employment at the university.

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Friends and Comrades: How Quakers helped Russians survive famine and epidemic, by Sergei Nikitin

10 November 2022 | by Daphne Sanders | 1 comment

'The outcome is a meticulously-researched account of the period from 1916, when Quakers first negotiated entry into Russia to help refugees.' | Book cover of Friends and Comrades: How Quakers helped Russians survive famine and epidemic, by Sergei Nikitin.

A century ago, British and US Quakers were amid the turmoil of the revolution in Russia, providing help to starving people. Today there is again strife and war in Europe. Sergei Nikitin’s book, translated by Suzanne Eades-Roberts, comes at a useful time.

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The Boy at the Back of the Class, by Onjali Q Rauf

03 November 2022 | by Edie Searle

‘At least the teacher could have introduced him to the class by name, and explained that he didn’t speak our language yet.' | Book cover of The Boy at the Back of the Class, by Onjali Q Rauf

I thought this was a really good book. It made me think a lot about refugees and how badly they are treated here in this country.

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All Ways Walk Cheerfully, by Peter Schweiger

27 October 2022 | by Review by Keith Chatfield

‘Few can lay claim to have measured the future king of Saudi Arabia for his preferred Italian footwear.’ | Book cover of All Ways Walk Cheerfully, by Peter Schweiger.

Life is a patchwork of happenings, some planned for, many disjointed, and countless repetitive. The richer the incidents that make up these happenings, the richer the patchwork, and this book unpacks a fascinating and busy life in a refreshingly honest style – at times planned, at times disjointed, at times repetitive,...

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