Enriching the lives of modern Quakers
- Research exploring the history of the Quakers is transforming our understanding of the role of women
Research exploring the history of the Quakers is transforming our understanding of the role of women in the development of the movement’s theology and practice.
The work – spanning 20 years – into seventeenth century Quaker writings is also enriching the cultural and spiritual lives of modern Quakers.
The work has established the range of original thinking and activity that female Quakers were involved in from the organisation’s inception 350 years ago – dispelling the long-held belief that the organisation was male led and dominated.
Indeed, it is now clear that women were not only important activists but also key theorists of the movement.
The research has been widely disseminated via academic publications, and also been shared with the Quaker community around the world.
The Loughborough academics have prepared a workshop as well as print and audio materials to help Quakers learn more about their history and development. They also hold advisory roles within the movement.
Their work has had acknowledged positive impacts on Quaker religious practice world-wide, inspiring a re-evaluation and celebration of the role and importance of women in the movement’s history.
Publication of critically acclaimed works including Elaine Hobby’s 'Handmaids of the Lord and Mothers in Israel: Early Vindications of Quaker Women's Prophecy', Prose Studies, 17 no. 3 (1994) and Catie Gill’s Women in Seventeenth-Century Quaker Community (Ashgate, 2005)
The academics are now part of the Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre’s Advisory Panel and sit on the Editorial Board of the Quaker Studies journal (QSRA)
A workshop delivered for the Kindlers has inspired a re-evaluation of the importance of women in the development of the movement and informed present-day Quaker ministry (2011)
A booklet and audio-visual materials produced following the workshop has attracted international interest, helping the Kindlers to “rekindle the power of Quaker worship”.