Adam Snider

Should I explore Quakerism?

In Religion on January 13, 2009 at 11:15 pm

Quakerism is the religion practiced by the Religious Society of Friends (also known as Quakers). In my readings about Unitarian Universalism (UU), I’ve noticed that there seems to be some overlap between the two faiths, especially in more recent times.

Several prominent Unitarians (and probably many more non-prominent ones) were Quakers, at one point in their lives. Of course, many members of the UU faith belonged to a different religion at one point in their lives, so perhaps this doesn’t mean much.

But, the point I’m trying to make is that Quakerism shares many similarities with UU.

Both faiths believe in finding your own path to god (or whatever is meaningful to you). In fact, although Quakers are generally considered Christian, many Meetings (a congregation of Quakers) have become more liberal and welcoming of non-Christians. It is now possible to be an atheist Quaker, or a Muslim Quaker, or a Humanist Quaker.

This sort of liberalism is, as I’ve said before, one of the things that I’m looking for in my spiritual life. The freedom to explore my own path to the truth is something that is vital to my spiritual growth and personal happiness.

After reading about Quakers and what they believe, I wonder if they might not be the faith community that I’m looking for. To be honest, I don’t think that they are, but I’m definitely curious about how they do what they do.

There is a Quaker community in Edmonton, and I think it would be interesting to check them out. I’ve read a bunch of the info on their website, and they seem like a welcoming group.

I plan to go to a Quaker Meeting for Worship at some point in the future. From what I’ve read, it sounds like quite a unique experience.

For now, I’m still very interested in exploring Unitarian Universalism, but I definitely think that checking out the Quakers will help me to better understand both my own spirituality and that of others.

I’m interested in hearing from you, though. What, dear reader, are your experiences with Quakers (if any)? What notions—either preconceived or learned through experience—do you have about the Religious Society of Friends? Does it interest you? Does it appall you? Please, share your thoughts in the comments.

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  1. I eat Quaker Oats….

  2. I like Quaker Oats… does that count? How you doing ink slinging Toad? Give up your search. Beer and Prons are our gods now! If they can’f fufill you spiritually, nothing will…

  3. This doesn’t answer your question but there was a period of time in the early to mid 20th century when several liberal religous bodies considered merging together, these included Unitarian, Universalism, and Quakers. The Unitarian and Universalists did not finally merge until 1961. Quakers were not as diverse theologically then as they are now. ANd occassionally the talk arises about a merger between these two groups now. NOthing all too serious but it arises nonetheless. The main difference between the two groups is the form of worship and governance used. These would be the two major hurdles to find consensus in forming any merger today–any theological hurdles between us have already been jumped.

    • @serenityhome – Thanks for your comment. I wasn’t aware of that, so it’s very interesting to hear that the two groups have actually considered uniting at several times in the past. I do agree with you that the form of worship would be a fairly significant obstacle, as would the form of governance. Perhaps, it’s best that the two groups, though theologically similar, remain separate. It provides options to those seeking a faith home, and allows those like you or I to choose the one that feels most comfortable.

  4. Winkler – Don’t worry, my friend, I’m still a fan of beer. I don’t plan to give up booze anytime soon.

    As for the porn, well, I’m trying to cut back on that for a variety of reasons, most of which have nothing to do with faith or religion.

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