Saturday, 13 September 2008

12 Quakers and....

No, it's not the start of a joke :) As I mentioned in an earlier post: when I was accepted as a member, and because I already had a copy of Quaker Faith and Practice, I was offered a set of Quaker Quest booklets called "12 Quakers and...".

These were written to be used not only in Quaker Quest, but also by attenders and new members. They are written very simply, by members of the Quaker Quest team in London, and each booklet has a different topic: God, Jesus, Worship, Equality, Pacifism, Simplicity and Evil.

(On a somewhat trivial note - my set has a lovely purple box cover, made by a local bookbinder, and, as each pamphlet is a different colour of the rainbow, they look extremely inviting!)

As the title suggests, there are 12 sections in each booklet, covering a wide spectrum of views. These are not simplistic, bland 'This is what Quakers believe...' booklets, but come from the deeply-held beliefs of individual members. They are all written anonymously.

I am thoroughly enjoying them. They are a perfect example of the aspect of Quaker literature that I appreciate most: that, rather than just offering abstruse theology, or prescriptions of how to think, we value and disseminate individual members' honest thoughts and beliefs. These in turn find readers who can relate to them.

Each section is quite short - anything from one paragraph to three or four pages - and so I can read and think about a new one every day. I also re-read the one I read the previous day, just to help fix it in my mind. Several passages have gone into my Commonplace Book already, not just entire paragraphs, but also simple sentences, like this from section 2 of '12 Quakers and Equality':

Equality does not mean I am not special. It means we all are.

If you would like to purchase any for yourself, or for your Meeting Library, they are all available at the Friends' Bookshop (scroll down, and go onto the next page also) in Friends' House, London. I can really recommend them, and I am very grateful to Judith, the Elder who suggested them to me.


Laurie Kruczek said...

Sounds like something I will have to look into. I am always interested in expanding my Quaker library here at home :)

Thanks for the insight and glad you are are enjoying the reading, and enjoying your newfound membership.

Side note: I am still not a "member." Our little independent meeting doesn't have it. Maybe George Fox would approve? LOL!

Jan Lyn said...

I *love* this quote!

Equality does not mean I am not special. It means we all are.

Now you have me very interested in these books. My recommended book list is about a mile long too!

Great sharing.