About the 2014 Swarthmore Lecture
The 2014 Swarthmore Lecture was given by Quaker author and academic Ben Pink Dandelion. Ben’s lecture explores the theme of transformation, ending with a call for us as Quakers to return to a transforming and transformational faith:
“I use the term ‘transforming’ to refer to how early Quakers were transformed in their spiritual experience, how they tried to transform the world around them, how the tradition has transformed, and how we can be transformed, transform our Meetings today and act as agents of transformation in the world, all of which is what it means to be a Quaker in the world today.”
Beth Allen, clerk of the Swarthmore Lecture Committee said
“This Lecture will be profound, wide-ranging and fun! Ben will help us to stay deeply rooted in the Spirit, as we live out our Quaker faith each day, and I am really looking forward to hearing him and reading the book.”
The lecture took place during Britain Yearly Meeting Gathering at the University of Bath, 2nd to 9th August 2014 with the theme “what it means to be a Quaker today”.
Ben has worked at Woodbrooke for twenty years, before which he worked for Britain Yearly Meeting on producing resources for learning. He has written and lectured widely around the world on Quaker topics. Ben currently serves as an elder in Sawley Local Meeting. As well as his Quaker experience Ben also has professional experience of academic study of Quakers with a specialism in the Sociology of Religion. He is currently Honorary Professor and Programmes Leader for the Centre for Postgraduate Quaker Studies at the University of Birmingham and both teaches and supervises postgraduate students in a variety of fields.
In the past twenty years Ben has written numerous books on Quaker history and theology Introduction to Quakerism (Cambridge University Press) The Quakers: a very short introduction (Oxford University Press) and co-edited both The Historical Dictionary of Quakerism and The Oxford Handbook of Quaker Studies.