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Introduction: Quaker Engagements with Mysticism

  • Jon R. Kershner
Chapter
Part of the Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Study of Mysticism book series (INTERMYST)

Abstract

From their beginnings in the middle of the seventeenth century in England, Quakerism has emphasized a spirituality of divine imminence and interiority. For early Quakers, a “Testimony” was the result of a comprehensive transformation of one’s whole self. A doctrine of unity with God, first called the “Inward Light” or “Light Within,” has led many to consider Quakerism as inherently mystical. Quaker interiority led Quakers in a long tradition of interacting and dialoguing with other religious traditions. While the types of spirituality have changed over time, Quakers have maintained a strong interest in the mystical and have borrowed from mystical sources in ways that have internal resonance. This chapter explores the historiography of Quakers and mysticism and introduces the main contributions of this volume.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jon R. Kershner
    • 1
  1. 1.Pacific Lutheran UniversityTacomaUSA

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