an absolutely brilliant, thought provoking book that begs all the relevant questions on all aspects of simplicity. It is organised by theme and consisan absolutely brilliant, thought provoking book that begs all the relevant questions on all aspects of simplicity. It is organised by theme and consists primarily of short quotes speaking from the experience of a wide body of individuals. Not something to sit down and read cover to cover, but more to use as a tool for reflection and contemplation, remindng us to look to the centre in all aspects of our lives....more
A very interesting exploration to reawaken a truly Quaker method of meditation, based in part on the experiences of early Quakers and in part on moderA very interesting exploration to reawaken a truly Quaker method of meditation, based in part on the experiences of early Quakers and in part on modern, secular practices. The beauty, as in much of the Quaker experience, is in the simplicity.
I read the book in preparation for an "Experiment with Light" organised by my Area Meeting using this meditation. While not all I had hoped for, the promise is certainly there....more
A fascinating book that is part civic history, part religious history, part travel log, and part naturalist meanderings. I was skeptical that it couldA fascinating book that is part civic history, part religious history, part travel log, and part naturalist meanderings. I was skeptical that it could do all these things well, and am pleased to report that it surprised me. Particularly, I felt that by immersing us in the landscape and history, it allows the reader to develop a better understanding of Fox, even if we don't particuarly like him. The understanding is key for it goes to the root of Quaker theology - our starting point and to a large degree still influential on where we are today....more
This book has been bandied around Quaker circles for a couple of years now and I'd never gotten around to reading it until it was made the subject ofThis book has been bandied around Quaker circles for a couple of years now and I'd never gotten around to reading it until it was made the subject of a seminar at our Area Meeting away weekend. I'm extremely glad I finally made time for it because it makes an extremely persuasive, scientific argument for the kinds of social values that to date in my head were mere assertions.
For those skeptical of the basic premise, read the last 2 chapters first where they address some of their critics and justify their data choices. Then, start from the beginning. Even if you don't agree, it will give you something to think about. ...more
A valiant effort to get Quakers thinking more rigorously about our beliefs and what we can constructively say to the more mainstream faiths. UnfortunaA valiant effort to get Quakers thinking more rigorously about our beliefs and what we can constructively say to the more mainstream faiths. Unfortunately, I don't think it goes at any length to actually help Quakers forge what could reasonably be labelled theology, and that perhaps is not a bad thing.
What it has done is convince me that theology is more reflective of people in the place and time it is written than it has anything to do with God. And if you use theology as a starting point for discussion and record, then this isn't necessarily a bad thing. However, if used to try and solidify Truth, then it becomes something that is fundamentally divisive - giving us something constructed by our own egos to fight over rather than an earnest searching after Truth.
I would hope that any Quaker use of theology is more in the vein of a starting point. Still, the tendency towards divisiveness is not to be taken lightly. Perhaps there is a better way than theology to get at the former while still avoiding the latter.
Regardless, Ms. Scott doesn't actually give us answers (in good Quaker tradition), but lots to think about. And if that was her aim, it was well achieved. But as an actual basis for theology in the strict sense of the term, I don't find it convincing nor necessary....more
My friend and fellow Quaker (a business management professor) lent me this book recently and I was intrigued by his recommendation. I was curious howMy friend and fellow Quaker (a business management professor) lent me this book recently and I was intrigued by his recommendation. I was curious how an outsider would view Quaker history and business methods. I personally think that the author missed to boat on these, but that is probably more the fault of the Society of Friends for disappearing from business leadership than the author's.
The book definitely has some excellent ideas, most powerfully so when an organisation is undergoing "crisis". His thesis is that businesses need these periods of crisis and he provides a structure for how to engineer those in a controlled way. I'm not entirely convinced by the entirety of his argument, but I think it does offer an interesting framework for organisations that are undergoing crisis or those that need dramatic change. The "hunter"/"herder" categorisation is particularly useful conceptually.
A few quibbles: - the author has clearly spent the entirety of his career at the top of the org chart and so I'm not sure fully appreciates the impact that "crisis" has on those lower down. - another strand to this is that I think he overestimates (despite his insistance on equality) the true impact of the "tone at the top" on the day to day running of a company - the author uses male pronouns almost exclusively. . .until the last three pages when all of a sudden he shifts to exclusively female pronouns. It is sad that I found this jarring and simultaneously it also drew me more into the book. More evidence of my own subconcious biases? Perhaps, but it would be nice for the next revision to include more gender inclusive language throughout.
I highly recommend others in business to read the book, but I don't think it is as powerful a force for change as it could be....more