By traditional Quaker culture, I mean something that precedes 1900. There is quite a bit that passes for traditional Quaker culture which is, in fact, nothing of the kind. One example is the "all of life is sacramental" notion, which apparently didn't appear in print until 1902. The very concept of "sacrament" is drawn from the vocabulary of mainstream, especially high church, Christianity.
So, by "traditional Quaker culture" I do not mean cultural artifacts which date back to the 1960s!
I would like to comment on your essay on Quaker culture, but there appears to be no QQ way to do so, except by writing here.
It is important to remember that most unprogrammed Friends are first-generation folks. Their roots in the Quaker tradition don't run very deep, at least historically.
I believe that there is plenty of traditional Quaker culture to be drawn upon, but most Friends were either never exposed to it, or they suffer from a kind of "cultural amnesia" concerning the Quaker tradition.
Seth Hinshaw once pointed out a popular Quaker writer's assertion that "Friends do not have ministers." The irony is that this leading interpreter of Quaker values was the grandson of an unprogrammed Friends minister!
I am not suggesting to we must become prisoners of traditional Quaker culture. On the other hand, ignorance of that culture is a kind of imprisonment in its own right!
Hi Johan. Greetings from Olney Friends School in Barnesville, Ohio! I saw you had posted a note about our recent summit. Truly a gathered event. We're all a bit tired today, but still exhilarated as we move forward together. What are you up to these days? You may recall I was previously the assistant to the president at Earlham, "back in the day." Take care-- Kirsten Bohl
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