Ben Pink Dandelion, Quaker professor at the University of Birmingham (UK) and one of my tutors has recently (as in this week) published, The Quakers: A Very Short Introduction with Oxford University Press. It’s a perfect book for someone who knows little about Quakers and doesn’t want to work through his much larger introduction (though I must say it is really good). This shorter intro is the kind of book that will cover all the really important bases: some belief and practices, a little history, key figures and what the Quakers are up to now. If you can’t wait to get your hand then I suggest downloading Dandelion’s lectures he recently did at Woodbrooke Quaker Study Center on the same subject.
To announce his new book Oxford University Press Blog did a (very short) interview with him, which can be read here. It’s a great interview, it is short but contains some worthy gems, like when he is asked whether the Iraq War has helped to increase Quaker membership:
Paradoxically, war is always good for recruitment. However, the pacifist stance of Quakerism remains highly counter-cultural and as such there hasnt been any a massive increase in membership. Many who would oppose the Iraq War would still not feel it wrong to fight in all circumstances. Many Quakers are also pragmatic but the official position is that fighting and war is not a way to solve problems.
Ben Pink Dandelion, OUPBlog