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Meredith Weddle writes well, through packing her best comments into a thicket of primary-source footnotes. Her Introduction strikes a careful balance between two positions she herselfdefines as partial: a "pietist" view that the Peace Testimony of early Friends was a statement of fixed and absolute principle, and the assumption that that Testimony was pragmatic, derived from the first collective testaments upon Charles IFs Restoration in by Margaret Fell, George Fox, and others, "forced upon them by the hostility of the outside world," the view taken by various Marxists, but also by master historian Peter Brock.

Weddle skilfully counters this view in a magnificent Appendix.

She also balances the basically individual choices Friends made as they faced challenges for action, following the leadings of the transforming inner Light, and Quaker groups' growing awareness ofresponsibility for societies consisting largely of non-Friends. Her discussion and 30 packed pages of bibliography largely ignore the patterns of nonviolence among monks, Mennonites, and Anabaptists.

She sees the power of the inner experience of being cleansed under the Light "the exultation of believing that one might conquer sin in this life" [p. Through the Calvinist doctrine of God's total oversight even of unworthy instruments and painful events, Friends resolved the tension that "some of government's duties might clash with Jesus' admonitions," affirming like Paul that "God endowed government with Book Reviews47 legitimacy but limited its sphere" even within its duties to restrain evildoers [pp.

Walking in the way of peace : Quaker pacifism in the seventeenth century

Yet "Quakers were sure that Truth was unfailing and was one Truth, as they were risking the immensity of experiencing God" [p. For the American colonies, Weddle is sensitive to contrasts in settings, though in each "God's love consists ofreproofs, judgment and condemnation ," as she quotes Nayler [p. She has arrayed a complex collection of different Friends' actions reflecting the Peace Testimony.

What It Means to Be a Quaker Peace Activist

Weddle also sees the complexity of issues and unspoken beliefs and the inner experiences behind them, and individuals' changes, tying narratives to a splendid set of fascinating contemporary etchings and maps never before published in a Quaker book. In New England, Friends proclaimed that "their weapons were not carnal but spiritual" in facing bloody persecution, and listed their sufferings also for refusing militia duty.

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There, Friends came to dominate the government after , and Friends met in the home of the governor William Coddington, whose wife had been a servant ofthe Fells at Swarthmoor. In and , the Rhode Islanders expected to face war with the French fleet, the Dutch in New York, and the Indians with most ofwhom Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.

Their decisions covered a broad range and resulted in a pacifist continuum of interpretation and behavior. Forgot password? Don't have an account? All Rights Reserved.

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Meredith Baldwin Weddle

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