Walking in the Way of Peace

Walking in the Way of Peace : Quaker Pacifism in the Seventeenth Century

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This book investigates the historical context, meaning, and expression of early Quaker pacifism in England and its colonies. Weddle focuses primarily on one historical moment - King Philip's War, which confronted the New England Quakers with the practical need to define the parameters of their peace testimony. Weddle has uncovered records of many Quakers engaged in or abetting acts of violence, thus debunking the traditional historiography of Quakers as saintly pacifists. Weddle shows that Quaker pacifism existed as a doctrinal position before the 1660 crackdown on religious sectarians, but that it was a radical theological position rather than a pragmatic strategy. She thus convincingly refutes the Marxist argument that Quakers acted from economic and political, and not religious motives. She examines in detail how the Quakers' theology worked - how, for example, their interpretation of certain biblical passages affected their politics - and traces the evolution of the concept of pacifism from a doctrine that was essentially about protecting the state of one's own soul to one concerned with the consequences of violence to other human beings.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 354 pages
  • 194.1 x 241.8 x 29.7mm | 644.11g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 12 halftones, 2 maps
  • 019513138X
  • 9780195131383

Review quote

A convincing demonstration of the confusing and confused origins of Quaker pacifism. * The Journal of American History * A thought-provoking study of early Quaker pacifism. * The Journal of Ecclesiastical History * [Weddle's] research is excellent among difficult and thin sources. Nobody will be able to study pacifism in the early modern period without following her lead in conceptualization and empirical testing ... stimulating ... accomplished book. * Dutch Review of Church History * ... a detailed historical analysis. * The Journal of Religion * ... a significant contribution to understanding the complexity of early Quaker theology, especially in a trans-Atlantic context. * The Journal of Religion *show more

About Meredith Baldwin Weddle

Meredith Baldwin Weddle is an independent scholar who has taught at Yale, the State University of New York at Purchase, and Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria.show more

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