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BOOK REVIEWS American Quakers Today. Edited by Edwin B, Bronner. Philadelphia: Friends World Committee, American Section and Fellowship Council. 1966. 112 pages. $3.00 (cloth), $1.00 (paper). In the summer of 1964, an American Friend, traveling in northwest England , was asked to give a lecture on American Quakerism today. From the questions asked at the end it was evident that there was a great deal of interest in American Quakerism, especially in the differences which exist among various groups, and that very little was known about Friends in North America. This American Friend was Edwin B. Bronner, chairman of the planning committee for the 1967 Friends World Conference. With the prospect of many Friends from other countries traveling around and visiting among Friends while in the United States, the Friends World Committee has thought it desirable to prepare a publication for visitors to read, describing the varieties of American Quakerism and how they developed. To carry out this project, Edwin B. Bronner, who is Professor of History and Curator of the Quaker Collection at Haverford College, was asked to serve as editor. This has come to fruition in the recent publication of a small volume entitled American Quakerism Today. In this Friendly enterprise the editor has associated with him five other Friends, each of whom has written a chapter on the particular section of American Quakerism with which he is affiliated. Each writer was asked "to emphasize the positive, to stress the contributions which are being made by the part of Quakerism which he or she represents." David O. Stanfield, who writes on the Friends United Meeting (the new name for the Five Years Meeting), is the secretary of Stewardship and Finance for that body. Lawrence McK. Miller, General Secretary of the Friends General Conference, has written a chapter on that group of Friends. Arthur O. Roberts, Professor of Religion and Philosophy at George Fox College in Oregon, is the author of the chapter on the Evangelical Friends Alliance, while William P. Taber, Jr., former headmaster of the Friends Boarding School at Barnesville, Ohio, describes the Conservative Friends. Finally, Isabel N. Bliss, a member of Cleveland Monthly Meeting in Ohio writes about the considerable number of "Unaffiliated Friends Meetings" that have sprung up in various parts of the country in recent decades. These five Friends have written as individuals, and not as official spokesmen for their groups, even though some hold official positions. In the introductory "Historical Summary" Edwin Bronner attempts to explain why and how American Friends came to be divided into many yearly meetings and why they appear to differ from one another in many ways. He also traces some of the steps taken toward greater unity in recent years. This is supplemented by suggested reading and a diagram to indicate in a simple fashion the history of the changes. In a final chapter the editor summarizes some other aspects of American Quakerism. These include accounts of the American Friends Service Committee, the Friends Committee on National Legislation, and the Friends World Committee , American Section, as well as a review of what American Friends have 55 56Quaker History done in the field of education, particularly in organizing Friends schools. At the end of the volume is a valuable map showing the location of the various American yearly meetings. Of his purpose, Edwin B. Bronner writes in his introduction: "This modest publication has been gathered together in order to help Friends to know and understand one another. While it indicates that all groups of Friends have much in common, no attempt has been made to gloss over differences which exist. We hope and pray that through greater knowledge and understanding it will be possible for all Friends to love and appreciate one another, even while cherishing those things which are distinctive of each group." Whether to a Friend from abroad curious about the diversity of American Quakerism, or an American Friend wishing to know better his Quaker neighbors, this little volume is indispensable. It fills a need that has long been felt. Cambridge, MassachusettsGeorge A. Selleck William Penn the Politician: His Relations with the English Government. By Joseph E. Illick. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. 1965. x, 267 pages...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1934-1504
Print ISSN
0033-5053
Pages
pp. 55-56
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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