Why do Primitive Quakers cling to tradition? Is it a comforting way to be with one another and speak and practice comforting, known, already practice methods of socializing? I do not know where Primitive Quakers feel that "tradition" leads them and would very much like to understand how what feels very much like a "retro" approach is helpful in one's spiritual life which, I always assumed, meant exploring spiritual insights which had not been achieved before.

The idea of returning to a previously achieved spiritual experience in order to re-experience it is new to me. Or, have I misunderstood?

-- Jean Yeager

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But I see I have strayed off topic. oops.

Thank you all for your very thoughtful responses to my query. I have found your contributions helpful in many regards and very insightful. And, for those of you who have challenged or attempted to "correct" my mis-use of language, faulty thinking and limited understanding - much obliged! 

I wish you all a richness in the spiritual insight and joyful practice.

- Jean

Thank you for presenting these two quotations, Bill, and also for referring earlier to Benson's None Were So Clear. I would like to read your paper when it is ready. Would you announce its availability on QuakerQuaker when the time comes? Thanks. 


William F Rushby said:

I am close to finishing revision of my paper on "Ann Branson and the Eclipse of Oracular Ministry in 19th Century Quakerism."  I quoted, toward the end of that paper, J. William Frost and Ben P. Dandelion on ministry in liberal unprogrammed meetings.

Here's what they wrote:

.   J. William Frost: “ministry is now less speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit than seeking for the truths discovered in thought, or study, or by meditating.”[i]    Ben P. Dandelion: “Ministry comes from the heart or the head but from the person, not God. Quakers thank each other for their ministry, not each other for being faithful vessels. Thinking is the most popular activity in Meeting, not dying to the self.”[ii]   


 [i] Frost, J. William, “Modernist and Liberal Quakers, 1887-2010,” in Angell and Dandelion, eds., Handbook , 91.


 [ii] Dandelion, Pink, The Liturgies of Quakerism, Burlington VT: Ashgate Publishing Company, 2005, 125.

I report with regret that spoken ministry in many Conservative meetings is on about the same level of inspiration. 

Hello, Patricia!

I am reluctant to announce publication of any of my papers on QQ.  It sounds too much like blowing my own horn! For this reason, I regret that I mentioned it in my comment.  I will try to communicate with you privately instead.

Bill
 


 

William F Rushby,  We know you aren't blowing your own horn.  It is okay with me and probably everyone else that you let us know about your papers.  In fact, I think you should catalog them and make the list of works available here.  It is valuable work that you have been called to do, providing us with information that we have no other way of obtaining. There is no shame in sharing the gifts God gives us.  I don't make a delicious pie and then hide it!  No, have to cut it up and share it.  So put your pies out on the counter for us all!
William F Rushby said:

Hello, Patricia!

I am reluctant to announce publication of any of my papers on QQ.  It sounds too much like blowing my own horn! For this reason, I regret that I mentioned it in my comment.  I will try to communicate with you privately instead.

Bill
 


 

Bill, I agree with everything Laura has written and would also like to know the titles of your papers. Would you post a list?

My response is "gulp!"

Patricia and Laura:

I have a paper, "Conservative Friends in the Religious Marketplace", which will appear in the next issue of Quaker Religious Thought.  This paper references a paper of mine on "Cyrus Cooper's Memorial and the Free Gospel Ministry", which was published in the Spring, 2000, issue of Quaker History.  Nothing like starting the new millennium with a bang!

I haven't submitted the Ann Branson paper for publication yet.  I have two other papers, "Traditional Quaker Worship as Ritual" and "Friends and Bible Friends: Stephen Grellet and William Allen in Russia", yet to be revised for publication.  I have read all of these papers, except Cyrus Cooper, at various academic conferences.  Cancer and the deaths of my wife and son occupied my life for several years.

My other published academic papers were on Anabaptist topics.

I have also contributed occasionally to Foundation Papers and Old Order Notes.

I have other papers in mind, if "Ann Branson" and "Quaker Worship" meet with a good reception.

My next project will be preparation of a memorial for my wife Darlene.

Bill Rushby

Bill, like Laura and Patricia, I too feel it would be a blessing to all of us for you to share your papers when you feel ready.

Thanks, William, I hope I can get a hold of these journals.  The Anabaptist papers would be interesting too.  I don't know if any of your topics would apply, but I attended a conference of the Communal Studies Association a couple years back.  That is an academic society that has their yearly conference at a different historical community site each year, e.g. Shakers, Amana, and so on.  Anyway, if there is a Quaker or Anabaptist experiment in communalism that you know of, maybe even Monteverde,  that would provide a theme for a paper or presentation?.  Anyway, their work and archives contain data that is relevant to religious studies.  The group is kind of a mixed bunch of mainstream academics and actual participants in various alternative social experiments and I wasn't that comfortable with those who had more of a detached scientist or historian stance.  Thanks for your info on  your works today!
 
William F Rushby said:

Patricia and Laura:

I have a paper, "Conservative Friends in the Religious Marketplace", which will appear in the next issue of Quaker Religious Thought.  This paper references a paper of mine on "Cyrus Cooper's Memorial and the Free Gospel Ministry", which was published in the Spring, 2000, issue of Quaker History.  Nothing like starting the new millennium with a bang!

I haven't submitted the Ann Branson paper for publication yet.  I have two other papers, "Traditional Quaker Worship as Ritual" and "Friends and Bible Friends: Stephen Grellet and William Allen in Russia", yet to be revised for publication.  I have read all of these papers, except Cyrus Cooper, at various academic conferences.  Cancer and the deaths of my wife and son occupied my life for several years.

My other published academic papers were on Anabaptist topics.

I have also contributed occasionally to Foundation Papers and Old Order Notes.

I have other papers in mind, if "Ann Branson" and "Quaker Worship" meet with a good reception.

My next project will be preparation of a memorial for my wife Darlene.

Bill Rushby


 Hello, Laura!

Thanks for your interest!  I am somewhat embarrassed about listing my papers on QQ; fear of bragging!  They were all published in small journals; no American Sociological Review or anything like that.

I encountered some Communal Studies scholars in June at a conference on "Inspirationalism" at the Center for the Study of Anabaptism and Pietism, at Elizabethtown College in PA.  The communal studies folks were probably hardcore enthusiasts, and they really "grooved" when we went for a tour of the Ephrata Cloister at Ephrata PA.

I read my Ann Branson paper at the conference.  It was the third conference I presented a version of the paper at, and I like to believe that I did a better job each time.  I have been working intermittently on the paper for FIFTEEN years.  I think it is now ready to submit to a journal!

I think a paper on the various efforts to establish a more intensive form of community among Conservative Friends would be worthwhile.  It could include the Fairhope AL community, Monteverde and the Holly Springs NC community.  Some of the meetings in Ohio might also be of interest, especially Somerset (now Chestnut Ridge).

Another interesting case is the Baring Street Fellowship in Philadelphia; Vail Palmer of QQ was a member there.  I think someone needs to write up the Baring Street project.

I would be willing to tell you more about my Anabaptist papers in a private message.  One paper was on Menonite college students.  The other two were on Old Order Brethren topics.

Bill Rushby

Thanks for this, Bill. I would be interested in reading the Branson paper, the one on worship as ritual, and the one on the two Friends in Russia. Would you let me know when each is available? You mentioned that you'd had some writing published in Foundation Papers. I think that Terry Wallace, who's the editor, would be very interested in publishing an excerpt or a portion of the Branson paper, perhaps timing its appearance  with the paper's publication, so to inform readers they can obtain a copy of the complete piece.    

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