Tradition and Transition: opening to the Sacred yesterday and today


Winter 2001 No 9 – 01/12/2001


Author: Alex Wildwood

Document Code: WJ09

Description: I am delighted to recommend to you this new essay by Alex Wildwood. Normally, our two issues of Woodbrooke Journal per year are devoted to the fresh research of our Eva Koch Fellows at Woodbrooke. But because of a gap in the ‘pipeline’, we were able to consider another submission. The work that Alex and Tim Peat are doing (see Alex’s ‘Acknowledgements’) with ‘Rooted in Christianity, Open to New Light’ has struck a chord with Friends around Britain Yearly Meeting in recent months. For those who have not had an opportunity to participate in one of their events, Alex’s essay here is a vital statement of the ‘Open to New Light’ side of that conversation — yet clearly engaged faithfully with the ‘Rooted in Christianity’ position that Tim upholds.

In my own research into the beginnings of Quakerism among Seekers of the 1650s, I have learned that Friends have always been engaged in this conversation. Some seek to dig deeper into the richness of the existing Christian tradition (albeit in a particular, Spirit-led vein), while others see new ‘dispensations’, ‘paradigms’ or ‘ages’ beginning to unfold and changing everything radically. At its best, this is a fruitful dialogue of faith that continues to renew Quakerism. I happily pass on to you this most recent installment in that conversation.

Doug Gwyn

Quaker Studies Tutor

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