This week I have three new Quaker books I wanted to share with all of you.
“Holiness: The Soul of Quakerism” is her dissertation boiled down into book form and promises to be one of the most original historical and theological accounts of Quakerism to date. In this book Spencer argues for the Holiness roots of Quakerism, an interpretive framework that she uses to understand the theological and practical formation of the tradition. This book may help to re-map Quakerism and move it beyond the conservative/liberal debate it’s been plagued with over the past 150 years.
“Levinas and the Wisdom of Love” by Philosophy Professor at George Fox University and Quaker Corey Beals. This is a book for both those who are new to Levinas’ thought as well as those who know it well. Beals argues that the “philosophy of radical responsibility” while being radical is not impossible, and shows how Levinas’ ethics over ontology cannot be simply reduced to deconstructive approaches but rather stands on its own. Here we see Levinas’ “wisdom of love” as an (ethical) possibility.
How The Quakers invented America by David Yount. Yount, a journalist, writes a popular history of Quakerism in America that sets out to show just how influential Quakers have been in America. But as Chris M has already suggested, it’s more focused on Quaker history than direct influence on American culture. Nonetheless, if you’re interested in more of a popular history of Quakerism this might be just for you.