Quakers and spiritual direction

Sutherland, Elisabeth (2013). Quakers and spiritual direction. University of Birmingham. M.Phil.

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This thesis explores the nature of spiritual direction within Quakerism as found in the early years and again within in a group of modern-day Quakers.

Spiritual nurture among early Quakers was literary research and in particular examined the writings of Margaret Fell and Isaac Penington. Modern-day Quaker spiritual nurture was
researched using interviews. Both periods were analysed using Margaret Guenther’s typology of spiritual nurture.
This research finds early Quakers mostly giving spiritual nurture via correspondence, however, evidence is also found of personal spiritual nurture and oversight within the
seventeenth century community.

Modern Quakers are found to be mindful of their spiritual nurture and development accessing these from a wide variety of sources within and without the Quaker community.

There is found to be a distinct style of Quaker spiritual direction described as ‘self-direction’ and ‘dyadic ’ in nature and the importance of group work is highlighted in the spiritual wellbeing of a Quaker community.

The questions raised by this research include the possible exploration of sacro-egoism and sacro-theism within Quaker community and the amount of spiritual support for individual
people within the Quaker community both for the nurtured and nurturers.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.Phil.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.Phil.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion, Department of Theology and Religion
Funders: Other
Other Funders: Quaker International Educational Trust
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BX Christian Denominations
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/4059


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