Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
The Quaker Universalist Reader Number 1: A Collection of Essays, Addresses and Lectures, edited by Quaker Universalist Fellowship Editors (1986; republished in eBook Format, 2017).
NOTE: This is the first of three Quaker Universalist Readers now republished in eBook format. All three volumes are downloadable as free eBooks (with donations optional).
In 1977, John Linton 1 delivered “Quakerism as Forerunner” before the Seekers Association in London. He “suggested that the Religious Society of Friends is uniquely qualified to serve the many religious seekers who feel unable, or hesitate, to accept a commitment to any specific denomination or creed. The lecture challenged Friends to broaden their outlook and to extend their area of concern” (from the “Introduction” by Winifred Burdick).
Reader #1 is a collection of essays, addresses, and lectures about Quaker universalist themes originally published by the British Quaker Universalist Group (QUG) as a series of pamphlets.
In 1986, Quaker Universalist Fellowship (QUF) republished the first six essays with permission, adding “Is Coexistence Possible: Christianity & Universalism in the Religious Society of Friends,” a talk given in America by Daniel Seeger 2 during the Friends General Conference Gathering of 1984.
In this post we feature three of the seven essays:
John Linton – Chapter I: Quakerism as Forerunner
Download a PDF of Chapter I
John Hick – Chapter III: Christ in a Universe of Faith
Download a PDF of Chapter III
Dan Seeger – Chapter VII: Is Coexistence Possible: Christianity & Universalism in the Religious Society of Friends
Download a PDF of Chapter VII
Themes and Study Questions from Volume 1
Chapter I: Quakerism is ahead of its time through recognition of religious pluralism
Chapter II: Role of Quakerism as a safe space within the global world of religions
Chapter III: The role of Christ in a plural-religions world is non-exclusive and shared if properly understood
Chapter IV: Explaining Quaker universalism in the Christian context
Chapter V: Summary of historic sources of 17th century Quaker universalist thought as a longer and wider spiritual movement through history
Chapter VI: A collection of early Quaker writings affirming universalism in the scope of care and engagement with spiritual resources in other religious traditions
Chapter VII: The fundamental unity of all religions
1. For more about John Linton and the history of the Quaker Universalist movement, see “Universalism and Friends: An Interview with John Linton,” by Larry C. Spears (1982; reprinted with permission from Friends Journal), and “25 Years of Quaker Universalism,” by Rhoda R. Gilman (2011).↩
2. Although educated as a physicist, Dan Seeger has spent most of his working life in the service of Friends organizations, including American Friends Service Committee, Pendle Hill, a Quaker study, retreat, and conference center, and Friends World Committee for Consultation. Dan writes frequently on subjects of interest to Friends.
In 1965, the Supreme Court case of The United States of America vs. Daniel A. Seeger greatly expanded the religious qualifications for allowing pacifists exemption from military service on conscientious grounds.
See United States v. Seeger, 380 U.S. 163 – Primary Holding: “A person can have conscientious objector status based on a belief that has a similar position in that person’s life to the belief in God.”↩