Faith in Action: Quaker theology and protest


Summer 2003 No 12 – 01/07/2013


Author: Cliff Marrs

Document Code: WJ12

Description: Cliff Marrs brings refreshing perspective as a new Friend to the current state of British Quakerism. Besides his fresh eyes and ears, he brings an impressive academic background in theology, church history, biblical studies and law to bear upon the subject matter of today’s Quaker faith and political protest. The work of Ben Pink Dandelion in sociological analysis of Quaker belief and behaviour in the 1990s has inspired a spate of smaller survey-based researches. Cliff Marrs’ study is the third Eva Koch Fellowship project to be done as a survey, and the third consecutive issue of The Woodbrooke Journal devoted to these projects (No. 10 was Peggy Heeks’ ‘British Quakers and the Bible Today’; No. 11 was David Rush’s ‘They Too Are Quakers: a survey of 199 nontheist Friends’.) Given the trend of liberal Quakerism to drift further and further from its traditional patterns, offering no definite boundaries to belief or personal behaviour, it may be that this shift from prescriptive to descriptive, from theological to sociological and empirical statements of Quaker faith and practice, is a logical outcome. These studies, including the present one, however, do not fail to raise probing questions and dilemmas for Friends in the early twenty-first century. I recommend this essay to anyone either comforted, afflicted or simply curious regarding the state of the Religious Society of Friends today.

Douglas Gwyn

Quaker Studies Tutor

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