Quaker Studies September 2010


Vol 15/1 – 01/09/2010


Author: ‘Ben’ Pink Dandelion (Ed)

Desc: The issue starts off with an article by Richard Allen on the migration of Nantucket Whalers to Milford Haven in the eighteenth century. These Quakers had had their ships seized because of their pacifist position during the American war of Independence and were faced with financial ruin. It is a history of combining spiritual witness and business interests although it is interesting that most of the whalers returned to North America by 1806. Milford Haven was established over that twenty-year period but Quakerism there went into decline after its short-lived influx.

Julia Bush’s article explores Caroline Stephen’s opposition to woman’s suffrage in the early twentieth century. Bush explores the variety of influences on Stephen and, linking with Pam Lunn’s article in Quaker Studies 2/1, argues that this position was far from anomalous in a Religious Society riven with ‘widespread doubts over the appropriateness of women’s entry into parliamentary politics. The Religious Society of Friends was divided on the subject and her eloquence was a valuable support to conservative gender views within the Society and beyond it’.

This issue also carries the last of the papers presented to the 2008 QSRA Conference on the sociology of British Quakerism which became the Cambridge Scholars publication The Quaker Condition: The Sociology of a Liberal Religion. The chapters here by Susan Robson and Judy Frith examine Quaker attitudes to conflict and making choices about time. Robson argues that a don’t see, don’t ask, don’t tell attitude is prevalent amongst British Friends and compares it with a contrasting approach found amongst Irish Quakers. Judy Frith’s work on how Quakers make choices about time reveals a ‘polychronic’ approach whereby Quakers operate different registers of time and mange their clocks through constructing a ‘temporal collage’ (interesting comparisons with Jackie Leach Scully’s analysis that Quakers operated a collage approach to their ethical decision-making—see Quaker Studies 14/1).

We have research notes on the tripartite longitudinal ‘Present and Prevented’ study, the conclusion of which we hope to report on in the next year, as well as the market research carried out on public perceptions of Quakers in Britain.

In this issue, we finally catch up with the backlog of book reviews. Apologies to you the readers and the reviewers: we will have a steadier stream in future.

Betty Hagglund is now Deputy Editor as well as Reviews Editor and Helen Smith Assistant Reviews Editor.

‘Ben’ Pink Dandelion

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