I’ve been reading and writing a ton while here at woodbrooke, which I suppose is good since that’s why I came here!? I just finished a fourth section to my final paper, it was on Martin Davie’s analysis of why and how Liberal Quakerism became the predominate form of belief in Britain. It took me a couple days to hammer it out, and it will take me as least as long to edit it, because it’s pretty long. I just quickly added up the word count on my various sections and I’ve got over 15,000 words so far, which isn’t too shabby. Actually, I think that’s as many words as I am required to have for my final paper for this tutorial, but I haven’t even written my conclusion yet, or added any of that fun juicy stuff where you get to argue your main points, etc.
So for those of you curious as to what I’ve been working on here’s a brief overview. I’ve been reading a lot of different things, but here are some of the more interesting books I’ve gone through (or am currently working on).
The Things I am Reading
- Covenant Crucified, By Douglas Gwyn
- British Quaker Theology Since 1895, By Martin Davie
- An Introduction to Quakerism, By Pink Dandelion
- Reasons for Hope, By John Punshon
- Creation of Quaker Theory, By Pink Dandelion
- Portrait in Grey, By John Punshon
- Testimony and Tradition
- A Precarious Peace, By Chris Huebner
- A Fragile Absolute, By Slovoj Zizek
- Who’s Afraid of Postmodernism? By James K Smith
My favorites in this list have been:
- Covenant Crucified – a Theological/Historical reading of Quakerism where Gwyn attempts to translate Quakerism into postmodern categories using a holistic account of covenant that is rooted with early Quaker thought (the first and last chapters are the kicker in this one).
- Creation of Quaker Theory – A selection of Quaker authors all putting forth their current theories on Quaker history, theology and sociology (My favorites in here were the essays by Punshon and a woman called Gay Pilgrim).
- A Precarious Peace – I am reading it for a book review due to Quaker Life very soon, but have found tons of uses for this project in it. This book is absolutely incredible and probably the best book I’ve read this year. It’s definately rearranging wires in my head.
The Things I’m Writing About
Basically, all my reading has been focused at looking at a few Quaker scholars who have sought to engage the Quaker tradition both in terms of its history, and its contemporary life. I’ve setup a criteria based on my work on Alasdair MacIntyre, which works as a rubric for me to evaluate how well these scholars have done at engaging their tradition in a MacIntyrean sense (which I believe is our best approach currently). I have evaluated in depth, Reasons for Hope, Covenant Crucified, and British Quaker Theology. My next part is to suggest, where I think these scholars have done well, what I think they are missing, and develop my own pattern or method for a Quaker theology that engages the tradition in a MacIntyrean way.
I’ve got 2.5 weeks till Emily and I begin our whirlwind trip around the United-Kingdom and I think I can do it (she arrives on Saturday)! And I’d really like to have everything done before I go. So if any of you feel up to writing something let me know we can divide this up and get done a lot faster your know!