Exploring the Living Quaker Tradition

Showing 17–32 of 32 results

    Conference: Depicting Religious Characters in 19th Century Fiction

    A day conference organised jointly by the Centre for Research in Quaker Studies and Keele University on all aspects of religious characters in nineteenth-century fiction. The conference is open to all with an interest in the subject, including postgraduate students.

    If you would like to present a twenty minute paper, please contact Betty Hagglund, betty.hagglund@woodbrooke.org.uk before the end of April.

    The conference fee of £50 includes lunch and refreshments. Accommodation, if required, should be booked separately.

    Quaker Botanists

    Would you like to find out more about three key botanists from the Quaker tapestry? Are you interested in gardens, plants and their history? By looking at the life and times of Peter Collinson, John Bartram and John Fothergill we will explore their plant introductions and gardens in the 18th century. We'll assess their legacy in gardens, parks and medicine today. You'll go away with a greater appreciation of the importance of these botanists in history and how they continue to inspire us today.

    Philosophy for Quakers

    This course introduces the P4C (Philosophy for Children or Communities www.sapere.org.uk) methodology which enables in-depth enquiry into matters of belief and ethics. This approach creates a positive environment for deep discussion and safe disagreement. Learning to use this form of philosophical enquiry will provide Quakers with the skills needed to facilitate dialogue about important issues in their own meeting community. During the weekend we will use Quaker Faith & Practice as a stimulus for our own community of enquiry.

    Stepping Out of Bounds: the early Christian breakthrough

    At the heart of early Christianity is a breakthrough, an experience of expansion into new possibilities. In the New Testament this experience is described as a manifestation of the Spirit, God’s creative power, operating in a new and unexpected way. People felt inspired, able to step out beyond the boundaries that had previously determined how they lived. This course explores both this breakthrough but also the conflict that had limited it even before the writing of the New Testament documents.

    Exploring Quaker Spirituality

    What is Quaker spirituality all about and how does it speak to us today? What is distinctive about the Quaker way? Using short talks, times of personal reflection, and group sharing, we will explore the central elements of Quaker spirituality. This will include the foundational experiences and understandings of early Friends; worship, silence and vocal ministry; personal spiritual practice; the discipline of discernment; and the connection between our inward spiritual experiences and our active lives in the world.

    Pure Motions: the spiritual journeys of John Woolman

    This one day workshop is being held at Friargate Quaker Meeting House, York.

    The spiritual life of John Woolman was inseparable from his travelling ministry. As he went, he felt the movement of the spirit, challenged injustice, and shared his understanding of God’s love. During this day event held at York’s Friargate Meeting House, we’ll examine his life and works and consider how his travels gave him new opportunities to encounter God and proclaim the Kingdom. Together we’ll reflect on how our own journeys might become a spiritual discipline, both renewing and prophetic. You can also join us on Sunday for an early-morning Prayer Walk before Meeting for Worship at 10.30am.

    Information about Friargate Quaker Meeting House (YO1 9RL) can be found at www.yorkquakers.org.uk/friargatehome.html.

    Bible Study for Quakers

    Do you find the Bible intimidating but intriguing? Do you want to engage your meeting in Bible study? This course will help you to find your way around the Bible and understand the distinctive Quaker approach to scripture. You will closely study several Biblical texts and reflect with others on your experience of the Bible. Each of the six units will be accompanied by a group study plan, supporting you in sharing your learning with your local Quaker community. Each unit contains video, audio and written materials to engage with, and forums to share reflections and ask questions. There will be a live online Q&A on Tuesday 30th July at 19.00 GMT+1. If you can’t join this discussion live, it will be recorded for you to watch at your convenience. This course involves a time commitment of approximately two to three hours per week.

    Multiple Religious Belonging

    Quaker-Pagan. Anglican and Buddhist. Jewish and Christian (and interested in shamanism). Multiple religious identities are becoming more visible in the Western world as globalisation makes us more aware of the possibilities and religion is increasingly seen as something private which can be chosen at will. This course will explore what it is like to belong to more than one religious tradition, ask how and why people might set out on that path, and give space to reflect on the implications. This course involves a time commitment of approximately two to three hours per week.

    Explaining Quaker Theology

    This course is an opportunity to engage with three theologians well known to Friends who have all published work that explores Quaker understandings for a wider audience. In Rex Ambler's book The Quaker Way: a Rediscovery (Winchester, UK/Washington, USA: Christian Alternative, 2013), he described his aim as to ‘communicate as directly as I could what it means to be Quaker and to follow the Quaker way’. In Testimony: Quakerism and Theological Ethics (London: SCM Press, 2015), Rachel Muers attempts to show ‘how Quaker ways of living and acting relate to theology, to ways of thinking and reasoning about God and all things in relation to God’. In Boundless: the Early Christian Breakthrough (awaiting publication), Timothy Ashworth explores aspects of the lives of Jesus and the earliest Christians in ways that reveal the closeness of early Christian experience to Quaker understandings of worship and discernment.

    This course involves a time commitment of approximately three hours per week.

    Inhabited by Christ: the theology and spirituality of James Nayler: online

    In this series of four purely online webinars running from 7.00pm to 9.00pm every Tuesday evening from 22 October to 12 November, we will focus on James Nayler, one of the most important leaders in the early Quaker movement. We will explore key dimensions of Nayler’s theology and spirituality by paying close attention to his published works, written between 1653 and 1660. We will look at his understanding of salvation, his contribution to the shaping of the peace testimony and his emphasis on meekness and suffering as God’s way of overcoming evil. We will also consider his prophetic messages to the wealthy and powerful that demonstrate his compassionate concern for the poor and oppressed.

    The course will assume a basic level of prior knowledge of Quakerism and its history.

    This online course is based on four live two hour webinars. Each webinar is recorded so you can follow the course using the recordings if you wish.

    This course involves a time commitment of approximately two to three hours per week.

    The Birth of Liberal Quakerism in Britain: online

    In the 1880s, Quakers in Britain where a broadly evangelical movement. By the 1930s, they were firmly embedded within a liberal theology. How did this shift occur? This course will examine the key events, ideas, publications and personalities of this interesting period of Quaker history, helping us to better understand Quakerism today.

    There will be a live online Q&A webinar on Tuesday 26th November at 7pm GMT. If you can’t join this discussion live, it will be recorded for you to watch at your convenience.

    This course involves a time commitment of approximately two to three hours per week.


    ‘For freedom Christ has set us free’. This is the heart of Paul’s teaching in this letter. Here is Paul’s most radical expression of how the experience of the Spirit can transform how people think of themselves and treat each other. In this online course we will tackle the letter step by step, aiming to bring Paul’s words alive, find connections with Quaker understandings, and better understand Paul’s confidence that faith in the living word can bring a new creation. The course will be run as a series of four webinars run from 6.30pm to 8.00pm every Tuesday evening from 07 May to 28 May. This course involves a time commitment of approximately 2-3 hours per week.

    A Place for the Scriptures: a course at Swarthmoor Hall

    The approach of early Friends to Scripture was extremely controversial. Their experience of the living Spirit made them suspicious of placing authority in a fixed text – but they believed this insight was rooted in the Bible itself. How do we now articulate the Quaker approach? And how does it shape how the Bible is used among Friends? This course is part of a continuing exploration of how Friends today relate to the Bible without compromising Quaker insights.

    To book Woodbrooke courses at Swarthmoor Hall please email info@swarthmoorhall.co.uk or ring 01229 583204


    The Inner Light: an exploration of eastern spiritual poetry – at Swarthmoor Hall

    The weekend will include a wide ranging survey of the ways in which Far and Middle Eastern scriptures and poetry have explored and expressed the nature and consequences of spiritual aspiration. We shall consider the thought and style of texts from pre-history to the Middle Ages, including Lao Tzu, Indian scriptures, Rumi and Hafiz, focussing on their evocation of the difficulties and rewards of spiritual work, and how their insights may assist our own understanding and development. All texts will be studied in translation

    To book Woodbrooke courses at Swarthmoor Hall please email info@swarthmoorhall.co.uk or ring 01229 583204


    Developing a Practice of Christian Meditation: at Swarthmoor Hall

    An introduction to an ancient Christian way of prayer beyond words, as taught in our time by Benedictine monks John Main (1926 – 82) and Laurence Freeman (1951-). The emphasis will be on practising meditation together and beginning to understand its rationale, its effect on our daily lives, our understanding of ourselves, of each other and of God.

    To book Woodbrooke courses at Swarthmoor Hall please email info@swarthmoorhall.co.uk or ring 01229 583204

    Mothers of Israel: exploring the writing of early Quaker women: at Swarthmoor Hall

    The early Quaker movement was unusual in its time for the freedom it afforded women to be preachers, prophets and writers. This course will enable you to explore the lives, and writings of a number of important seventeenth century Quaker women. This will include Margaret Fell, Martha Simmonds, Sarah Blackborow, Dorothy White and Elizabeth Bathurst. In our sessions we will get to know these women using short talks, the reading of texts and group discussion within a safe and friendly atmosphere.

    To book Woodbrooke courses at Swarthmoor Hall please email info@swarthmoorhall.co.uk or ring 01229 583204