The Liturgies of Quakerism (Liturgy, Worship and Society Series)

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9780754631286: The Liturgies of Quakerism (Liturgy, Worship and Society Series)

The Liturgies of Quakerism explores the nature of liturgy within a form of worship based in silence. Tracing the original seventeenth century Quakers' understanding of the 'liturgy of silence', and what for them replaced the outward forms used in other parts of Christianity, this book explains how early Quaker understandings of 'time', 'history', and 'apocalyptic' led to an inward liturgical form. The practices and understanding of twenty-first century Liberal Quakers are explored, showing that these contemporary Quakers maintain the same kind of liturgical form as their ancestors and yet understand it in a very different way. Breaking new ground in the study of Quaker liturgy, this book contrasts the two periods and looks at some of the consequences for the study of liturgy in general, and Quakerism in particular. It also explores evangelical Quaker understandings of liturgy.

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About the Author:

Programmes Leader, Centre for Postgraduate Quaker Studies, Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre and the University of Birmingham. He is also Editor, Quaker Studies, and Convenor, Quaker Studies Research Association

Review:

'Quaker leaders must read this book and other church leaders and religion professors should. Dandelion skillfully and objectively analyses Quaker worship, comparing and contrasting historical and contemporary practices with normative 17th century ones. He boldly applies the term 'liturgy" to Quakers and forces them to learn how meanings are conveyed through external structures of worship - even the central one of silence. As a Quaker, Dandelion understands, and embraces, the Quaker quest for spiritual substance in worship. He discerns that for many theologically liberal Quakers silence has devolved into a secularized form, devoid of Christian substance. At this academic altar one can almost sense the Holy Spirit waiting for penitence, waiting to infuse these scholarly words with fire.' Arthur O. Roberts, Professor-at-large, George Fox University, USA 'This book is well-written; the author is a phrase-maker. His extensive extracts are a valuable feature of his book.' Worship '... this book mounts a sustained and thought-provoking critique of formal developments withing the unprogrammed tradition of Friends... this book is a fascinating treatment of an issue central to the spiritual vitality of the Quaker movement. While targeted primarily at the liberal and unprogrammed traditions of Friends, this book will have significant implications for all members of the wider family of Friends, and the broader Christian movement... the 'work of people' must be from first to last a faithful response to the Divine initiative, and this conviction is central to the heart of Quaker faith and practice, as well as to the heart of the Gospel, proper. This book helps us get closer to that standard by casting into sharp relief its various and lesser alternatives.' Quaker Studies 'Liturgies of Quakerism is a book that repays careful reading... the work entailed in studying this book will be well worth the trouble. It requires you to examine your own attitudes, and your understanding of 'other' Quakers, near and far, past and present. Any thoughtful Friend can profit from this book. Quaker leaders, including public Friends, would do well to learn from it and argue with it. Meeting study groups also should investigate it, as a way to explore together commitments and assumptions too often hidden by the silence in which we all rejoice.' Friends Journal 'Pink Dandelion [...] has written another provocative study. this time examining the meanings of silent worship through Quaker history... While the book is written principally with the ideas and language of social science, any concerned Friend will benefit from careful study of it.' Quaker Life 'If you haven't had the chance to read 'Ben' Pink Dandelion's book The Liturgies of Quakerism, you're missing out on one of the Friend's sharpest and most creative contemporary thinkers.' The Friend

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