Quaker Quicks - What Do Quakers Believe?
Everything you always wanted to know about Quakers, but never quite knew who to ask.
"So what do you believe?" It’s the question Quakers are always asked first and the one they find hardest to answer, because they don’t have an official list of beliefs. And Quakerism is a religion of doing, not thinking. They base their lives on equality and truth; they work for peace, justice and reconciliation; they live adventurously. And underpinning their unique way of life is a spiritual practice they have sometimes been wary of talking about. Until now.
In What Do Quakers Believe? Geoffrey Durham answers the crucial question clearly, straightforwardly and without jargon. In the process he introduces a unique religious group whose impact and influence in the world is far greater than their numbers suggest. What Do Quakers Believe? is a friendly, direct and accessible toe-in-the-water book for readers who have often wondered who these Quakers are, but have never quite found out.
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Informative, entertaining and engaging the concise introduction to Quakers. Quakers beliefs are deeply human and natural. Their value system is wildly shared by different groups striving for social, economic or environmental justice perhaps without realising of this fact. Durham listed few of articles of faith. For instance: "Quakers believe that no person is deserving less respect than the other," or "any deep-rooted custom of the society, however commonplace or entrenched, should be opposed if unjust". What can be interesting in the era of seeking for safe or holy places, Quakers reject traditional division into sacrum and profanum (profane) because, according to them, "every person, every place and every day is holy". This is the foundation for their rejection of any aggression including any type of war. Durham's chapter on this subject titled "Everything that lives is holy" is probably the most intellectually challenging in the whole book. ~ Ben Goldberg, PH Tribune
Have you ever been to a Quaker meeting? I have a few years ago. It was the most uncomfortable hour of my life. Everyone sits in silence unless someone feels lead to share something. When I saw this Quaker Quicks book available to review I couldn’t help, but request it to find out more. This short book provides a few basics about what Quakers are all about. Interesting things I learned about them is that they don’t have creeds, or a governing church body. I discovered they handle their meetings to make decisions just like they do their church meetings. In silence. I found out they utilize different spiritual books to educate and don’t favor one holy book over another, though most do have the Bible on their table that’s in the center of the group whose meeting together. This book also, quotes a number of different Quakers regarding how being a Quaker has changed their life. After reading this short book I want to read more. Each Quaker group are independent of others and they each have their own magazines and books they publish. There are some aspects of Quakers that bring to mind Unitarians. ~ Heather Dannewitz , NetGalley
In this book, Geoffrey Durham takes on the challenge of Quaker belief, watering nothing down but aiming firmly at the new enquirer. In eight short chapters he provides a palatable and accurate understanding of the Quaker worldview. One chapter uses interviews of eight Quakers with a range of views, showing that no one of us holds all Quaker truth. The book is clear and positive, reaching considerable depth despite its brevity. The author seeks to use words that will be understood, and the book sparkles with his choices. ... You end with a real sense of a way of life - a spiritually diverse community of real potential. It busts a lot of myths, warns we are not perfect, and, I found, gives rigorous challenge to established Quakers to live up to their boldest claims. ... The book meets its author's aim admirably. It opens the door. It encourages the reader to experience Quakerism. ... 'Quaker Quicks' is a series of short books by a sympathetic commercial publisher. If they all meet this standard, we are blessed. ~ Stephen Cox, The Friend
This is a fascinating quick guide to a Faith that many people know nothing about, or think they know but actually believe wrongly in false myths about the Quaker community or Quaker beliefs. I was surprised to learn that not only is their no "dogma," also individual Quakers believe as they wish. Quaker experience is just that: personal experience. I applaud the Quaker drive to honesty, clarity, and love. I really applaud their Silence. I believe the world in general could use a whole lot more silence and contemplation. ~ Mallor Haws, NetGalley
The opinions expressed in this book set forth by the author have greatly changed my perception of Quakerism. As told from a voice of experience, not encumbered by the rules of the church, the Quakers of today live by principle - not doctrine; they follow a spiritual path. That was my first revelation. Not surprisingly from the aforementioned, it was revealed that there are no specific holy days for Quakers; to them every day is holy. They firmly believe that there is no one religion superior to another. It was interesting to learn that a Quaker meeting is filled with meditative silence. There is no agenda to follow. However, someone offering a discussion that would benefit the group might take place. Again, anything is allowed. No one is denied. This well-written narrative turned me around to what quakerism is all about. Its dominant principle brings together a divine order of people who share one primary objective: Peace on Earth, Goodwill toward men - an ideal worth heeding. ~ Paul Falk, NetGalley
The author has a good style, simple and direct, making it easy to enjoy the reading. ~ Alan D.D., NetGalley
The book is refreshing in its clear statements about Quaker beliefs, along with the acknowledgment that Quakers do not hold to dogmas or creeds. The blending of description, quotes from various Quakers, and summarizing statements helps the reader get a clear picture of Quaker faith. If you want to learn about how Quakers seek to find truth, live in that truth every day, and transform both their world through conviction rather than condemnation, this book is an excellent starting point. For the full review visit: https://www.snlemons.com/2019/03/19/review-quaker-quicks-what-do-quakers-believe/ ~ Sofia Lemons, A Listening Heart
The clearest introduction to Quakers I have read. Beautifully and clearly written, this book brings Quakerism to life in a very accessible way. ~ Nick Baines, Bishop of Leeds, broadcaster and writer
It is not easy to explain what Quakers believe; we are notoriously hard to pin down. Yet Geoffrey Durham has managed to unpack Quakerism in an open, lucid and friendly way. If you have ever wondered what is actually happening in a room full of people sitting in silence together, you will understand better after reading What Do Quakers Believe? and may want to try it yourself. It is a book even Quakers can benefit from. Reading it also made me understand myself better; how I’m put together, how I operate in the world, and yes, what I believe. ~ Tracy Chevalier, bestselling author of Girl With a Pearl Earring and The Last Runaway
In this excellent and informative book Geoffrey Durham explains in direct and straightforward language who the Quakers are and what they believe. Quakers reject no one. They have a deep respect for human life and for the world in which we live and they attempt to bring some common sense to a world that is increasingly driven to distraction in the endless pursuit of “bigger and better”. I warmly commend this book to you. It caught my attention from the very first page. ~ Terry Waite CBE, bestselling author of Taken on Trust and Solitude: Memories, People, Places
“If you look to Quakers for a belief system you are going to be disappointed,” writes Geoffrey Durham. But he certainly does not disappoint in the clarity he brings to portraying the shared principles by which Quakers seek to live and act. The pages of this book are powered by the potential for change in individuals and in the world. ~ Mike Wooldridge OBE, former religious affairs journalist and broadcaster