A Video Conversation with Martin Kelley

Yesterday, The Quaker Ranter, Martin Kelley, and I sat down over video (he’s in NJ) and had a conversation about some of the difficulties with insider Quaker lingo and the problems that presents for “outsiders.” We also discussed this in relation to using YouTube as a way to get the word out, and how we might go about doing something like this.  The conversation is the first (trial) run of a series Martin will be conducting, something I personally look forward to. I enjoyed being the Guinea Pig.

Published by Wess

Teacher, author, Quaker, ​and public theologian. He works at Guilford College, enjoys riding his Triumph Bonneville, and listening to music.

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5 Comments

  1. I love the idea of showing rather than telling (videos of people living the faith rather than “talking heads” explaining the faith)–it’s a very well-known piece of advice for writers, and I think it would work for intro to Quakersism as well.

    And, the idea of revisiting some of our language use is key.

    Good video! Great start to the series.

    cath

  2. Thanks for the comments everyone, glad you enjoyed it. I did too, I wonder if Martin and I could have our own Quaker TV show? Something along the lines of perfect strangers or something, only living it out in different cities…

    I’ll stop now, before I come up with other silly ideas…I’m still wired on the cup of coffee I drank at 8 this morning.

  3. Wonderful video, hope to see more.

    Two comments:

    1) I’m one of those who came to Quakerism through the Beliefnet quiz, though it took me several years to act on it. Why did it take so long? Partially because I assumed that Quakers were extinct or nearly so. And partially because the quiz subtly trivializes the faith experiences it treats.

    2) On Quaker “insider” language. I appreciate the concern that insider language might be off-putting for newcomers. But as a relative newcomer myself, I’d also suggest that language is an important aspect of any social community– or “folk group” as they say in ethnography. I think most people, and most visitors to a Friends meeting, are perceptive enough to sense this. More off-putting for newcomers (to some meetings) might be a sense that there’s a disconnect between Friends’ langauge and their actions.

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