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58Quaker History engineers in the early days, of rising Quaker concern over the social injustices in this British colony, ofthe rise ofFriends missions, and the turn toward service after the Manchester and Darlington conferences of the 1890s and through the twentieth century. Marjorie Sykes was a committed Gandhian, and she did not abandon that commitment in the writing of this book. It is clear that her sympathies lay more with those heroic missionaries, educators, and others who come in service and to live the life of Indians, willing to learn from them, such as Rachel Metcalfe, Hilda Cashmore, Geoffrey Maw, Horace Alexander and AgathaHarrison (the last two being themselves close associates ofGandhi). One also comes to know and admire Indian Friends such as Poornachandra Sarkar, Khushilal, G. L. Narasimhan, and Ranjit Chetsingh. True again to her Gandhian principles, Marjorie Sykes is honest, fair, and even generous in herportraitofothers with whom she would in part disagree. These include missionaries who were quite willing to use medicine as the bait for conversions, and evangelists who demanded a very exclusive Christianity and required a total break with converts' pasts—in effect creating a small, separate, and socially very vulnerable caste ofIndian Friends, who were not even accepted by otherevangelical Christians in India because oftheir stand on outward sacraments. The book is free of polemic, but it is also unafraid to tell the story of tensions, theological differences, personal ambitions and arrogance. In her unraveling of the complexity of this history, Marjorie Sykes is delightfully detective-like in her quest for detail and the insightful conclusions she draws from them. Her modesty is reflected in the final chapters, in which she draws almost too little attention to herself. To learn more of Marjorie Sykes, the reader must turn to her biography, written by Martha Dart, which necessarily carries the story of Friends in India beyond the late 1 940s. Readers can also look forward to the biography of Horace Alexander, on which Geoffrey Carnali is presently working. Michael BirkelEarlham College Primitivism, Radicalism, and the Lamb's War: The Baptist-Quaker Conflict in Seventeenth-Century England. By T.L. Underwood, New York and Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1997. viii + 188 pages. Illustration, notes, bibliography, and index. $45. T. L. Underwood's book reviews the theological disagreements that animated English Quakers and Baptists in pamphlet and public debates Book Reviews59 between about 1652 and 1675. Six central chapters each explore a different topic: Scriptures, Christ, soteriology and eschatology, Baptism and the Lord's Supper, the Church, and the light within. Each chapter revolves around Baptist accusations that the Quakers had departed from an important Christian tenet, the Quaker rejoinder, and their counter accusation that the Baptists had missed the truth by clinging to old errors. Underwood employs a dual framework for understanding this material. His majorargumentisthatprimitivism—as developedbyTheodoreBozeman in ToLiveAncientLives: ThePrimitivistDimension inPuritanism (1 988)— guided both the Quakers and the Baptists. Although Baptists embraced a biblical primitivism similar to that of the Puritans Bozeman examined (a similarity that made itpossible forNew Englanders to convertto the Baptist faith—especially the Calvinist Particular Baptist faith—without direct contact with missionaries, as I have argued elsewhere), the Quakers' primitivism was of a different order entirely. According to Underwood, the Quakers believed they were the primitive church. Drawing on Mircea Eliade's Myths, Dreams andMysteries (1960), he states repeatedly that the Quakers emphasized the "Great Time" of"the beginnings" above all else in conceptualizing their faith. The second framework, which is less fully developed, places both Quakers and Baptists in the context of English religious dissent of the period, referring either to Presbyterians and Independents or to more extreme and ultimately more ephemeral radicals of the interregnum era (Ranters, Seekers, and Muggletonians). In this Underwood follows Geoffrey Nuttall in seeing a continuum of religious belief under the broad rubric of Puritanism. Underwood does not address the seeming contradiction between the clearradicalism ofa Quakerprimitivism that transcended biblical history to place the primitive in the present and the idea of a continuum in which, by definition, only incremental change occurs. The book is not without its flaws, most of which flow from the author's approach. The topical chapters can obscure change...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1934-1504
Print ISSN
0033-5053
Pages
pp. 58-60
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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