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Margaret Fell and the End of Time

The Theology of the Mother of Quakerism

Sally Bruyneel

Publication Year: 2009

Margaret Fell and the End of Time offers an unprecedented interpretation of the life and theology of one of the central figures of the seventeenth-century Quaker movement. While Fell has been the subject of some historical research, until this book she had not been studied as a religious author or theologian in her own right. Taking her seriously as a prophetic and practical theologian, Sally Bruyneel systematically analyzes Fell’s writings on both Quaker and orthodox Christian subjects, ranging from the Inward Light to eschatology to the Trinity. In doing so she demonstrates that Fell was deeply influenced by Biblical apocalyptic literature and the strong eschatological expectations of her time—which became central to her work with the Jews, for her defense of the spirituality equality of women, and for her promotion of the Quaker testimony of peace.

Published by: Baylor University Press

Table of Contents

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pp. ix


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pp. xi

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pp. 1-20

For those who savor history, early Quakers provide a dynamic challenge to the palette. This Christian movement, later to be known as the Religious Society of Friends, was a passionate wrestling between the rigors of religious self-discipline and the onus of apocalyptic prophecy. At the center of this often ecstatic tension was Margaret Askew Fell Fox (1614–1702), a ...

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1: Margaret Fell: An Overview of Her Life and Work

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pp. 21-56

Theology, like every significant human endeavor, reflects the lives, values, and needs of a people at a particular place and time in history. In an almost poetic interdependence, a full explication of any theological literature cannot be done properly without an understanding of its historical milieu. To understand Margaret Fell’s written contribution to the theological discourse of ...

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2: A Measure of the Times

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pp. 57-76

In the last chapter we explored the life of Margaret Fell, particularly her con-version, arguing that her combination of social status, strength of character, and conviction made her a de facto leader in the early Friends movement. However, it is important to acknowledge that another factor contributing to Fell's prominence was the time during which she aligned herself with Fox ...

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3: The Kingdom of Light: Margaret Fell’s Theology and Eschatology

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pp. 77-117

As an early apologist, Margaret Fell championed Friends' beliefs and prac-tices in a variety of contexts. As a First Publisher of the Truth, she is an important source of insight into the theological development of the Society of Friends and her extant correspondence and religious writings provide a window through which to view the rise of Quakerism. Her books, pam-...

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4: A Salutation to the Seed of Abraham: Margaret Fell, Quaker Evangelism, and the Jews

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pp. 119-140

Early Friends' theology pulses with energy and urgency. Channeled through the social and religious context of the seventeenth century, the stern joy of Quaker proclamation melded with apocalyptic expectation to fit the tenor of the times. As a biblical prerequisite for Christ's return, the conversion of the Jews has a permanent place in the reckoning of Christian eschatology. ...

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5: Living in the Last Days: Women’s Equality and Peace Testimony

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pp. 141-162

When asked to step forward and explain Friends practice or theology, Margaret Askew Fell Fox was always willing. Of all the areas where her religious writings have had an impact in her own time and ours, it is her contribution on women and pacifism that continues to generate the most widespread interest. Now it is time to extend an analysis of Fell's religious corpus to ...

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Concluding Remarks

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pp. 163-167

Having traced the life of Margaret Fell within the broader portrait of the early Society of Friends and drawing her contributions more carefully out of the shadow of neglect and obscurity, it becomes clear just why her enigmatic historical persona is both intriguing and worthy of close study. Early on this particular exercise looked to the life of Margaret Askew Fell Fox (1614–1702) ...


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pp. 169-197


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pp. 199-207

Scripture Index

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pp. 209

Index of Names

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pp. 210-213

Index of Doctrine

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pp. 214-215

E-ISBN-13: 9781602584945
E-ISBN-10: 160258494X
Print-ISBN-13: 9781602580626
Print-ISBN-10: 1602580626

Page Count: 227
Publication Year: 2009

Edition: 1