Rhiannon Grant’s work at Woodbrooke spans academic and practice-based approaches to Quakerism. She teaches in Woodbrooke’s short course program and supervises research and teaches postgraduate…
Struggles with New Light: navigating shifting Quaker beliefs
19 September 2022 - 30 October 2022
The live Zoom sessions are at 19:00-20:30 (UK time) every Monday during this period.
The Quaker tradition asks us to embrace new spiritual insights, understand insights given in the past, and approach everything with discernment. To do all three at once can be a challenge! This course will explore how thoughtful disagreement has been part of this process.
By putting the current religious diversity of Quakerism into historical perspective, we can understand the present situation better. By clarifying how we disagree with other Quakers past and present, we can respectfully engage with each other and our rich tradition without compromising our integrity. Exploring the roots of Quaker movements such as liberalism, universalism, and nontheism will help us understand their influence today.
Over the six weeks of this course, we will look at four key moments in the development of Quaker theological understanding during the twentieth century:
• The creation of evangelical and liberal Quakerism at the end of the nineteenth century
• Engagement with humanism as reflected in Swarthmore Lectures given in the 1960s
• Universalism about religious truth, and the question of whether it opposes Christocentric Quakerism
• Nontheist Quakerism and changing understandings of belief in the early twenty first century
We will have a live Zoom session each week (recorded for you to catch up if you miss it) and resources for further reading will be shared on Moodle (our online learning website).
The date period given for the course is when you are expected to interact with the online material and discussion forum; you can work on this at any time to suit you.
This course will involve:
On the booking form, there is a chance for you to let us know about any accessibility or communication adjustments that will enable you to participate more fully in the course. Automated Zoom closed captions are available for all live sessions but if you feel you require more accurate closed captioning please email us directly in addition to booking.