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The Quakers: A Very Short Introduction
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The Quakers: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #177)

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  163 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
Here is the perfect introductory guide to the history and ideas of the Quakers, one of the world's most fascinating and enigmatic religious groups. Emerging in England in the 1650s as a radical sect challenging the status quo, the Quakers are now best known for their anti-slavery activities, their principled stance against war, and their pioneering work in penal reform. Fa ...more
Paperback, 142 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published February 28th 2008)
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Candy Wood
If I had not read some older, longer books about Quakerism first, I might not have recognized the mastery of this Very Short Introduction. In just seven chapters, a bit over 100 pages of text and illustrations, Pink Dandelion clearly explains the varieties of Quaker belief and practice from 1652 to the present (2008). Direct quotations from the writings of early and more recent Friends as well as from former and current books of discipline from both the UK and America help to clarify the distinc ...more
Mar 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
THE QUAKERS: A Very Short Introduction by Pink Dandelion is a pretty substantial presentation of Quaker life and belief in 160 pages. Dandelion divides the book into the chapters History, Worship, Belief, Theology and language, Ecumenism and finally The future of Quakerism.

I grew up in a Philadelphia suburb founded by Quakers, but I could never really get a handle on what the religion was all about. Dandelion delineates three clear strains of Quakerism today, from the Evangelicals who have struc
Dec 21, 2017 rated it liked it
I'm posting this review much sooner than I had planned on, namely because it was shorter than I thought and I've been in a hospital waiting room all day with nothing else to do lol. So - Overall the book delivers what it promises: A very short intro to Quakerism, detailing the history, sects, beliefs/practices and some statistics on potential growth or decline in the future (Although the stats are roughly a decade old by now so it's not a great reference today). Written in layman's terms, it's s ...more
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Having "officially" been a Quaker for two years now (I became a "member" of a Meeting House in 2016, but had been attending meetings before then), I decided it was high time that I found out more about my faith. Therefore, I decided to read this brilliant overview.

Pink Dandelion - the book is surely worth reading for that name alone - provides a well-researched, concise report of the beginnings of the Quakers, how they faced the challenges of having different viewpoints from each other (they did
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
A very comprehensive 'short introduction'. Like other books in the series written for non specialists from an academic viewpoint by a specialist in the field. Covers both beginnings, history and theology with a good overview and taking an international look, especially towards the end when he is looking towards the future.
Kat Steiner
Sep 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a great little book on Quakers. It manages to pack in history, analysis, and some pretty hefty philosophy of religion and theology in a very short space, while still remaining accessible. As someone with some experience of British 'Liberal' Quakerism, but no other kinds, it was truly enlightening and humbling to realise what a small proportion of Quakers this includes. The weakest chapter was probably the mind-boggling chapter tracing all the various schisms and changes of terminology, b ...more
Sam Eccleston
Feb 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a fairy clear, easy to read introduction to the history, theology, and practice of Quakerism. I have to say that the clarity with which Quaker thought is expounded does nothing to make it more convincing....
Karen Brooks
May 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
This wonderful, brief overview of Quaker faith and history by Pink Dandelion, commences with the beginnings of Quakerism during the Interregnum in Britain and George Fox's early epiphanies and moves to establish a "church", to the 21st century. Following the practices, trials and tribulations of early and persecuted Quakers, Dandelion takes the reader through the intervening years and the splintering of one faith into, basically three and more, and the various styles and belief systems that domi ...more
Jan 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
P.33: Mott was one of many Hicksites who began to call for a more rational approach to the reading of scripture and the use of scholarship to better understand its provenance.

P.107-108: Evangelical Quakers: Christian identity primary; programmed or semi-programmed worship; pastors visible and active. Conservative Quakers: spiritual experience as primary; scripture as secondary; Christ-centred; unprogrammed worship; no visible leadership. Liberal Quakers: experience as primary, Christian, post-Ch
May 15, 2009 rated it it was ok
When I saw this book, I was thrilled. Just what I wanted, I thought to myself. I can learn what the Quakers believe, why they dress the way they do, why they used to talk so funny, and I can learn why they are silent in church. Perfect! Or... not.
this book claims to be a short introduction but be prepared for a history lesson made almost incomprehensible. I felt like the book was deceiving in its content, judging by the title. It's definitely one I'll have to re-read to get the jist of it, or I'
Lesley Looper
Feb 16, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: LaVerne Coan
I liked this quick overview of Quakerism, especially since my UU Covenant Groups is planning a visit to a Friends Meeting in Durham soon. This book gave a history of the Quakers, as well as a good description of the differences between Evangelical, Conservative, and Liberal Quakers.

A while back, I took the online Belief-O-Matic quiz on, and I was surprised at the time to learn that "Liberal Quaker" was high on my list. Now I understand why.

One of the surprises I learned is that Qu
Mitch Gage
Dec 31, 2014 rated it liked it
Interesting. Liberal Quakerism seems like a pretty agreeable "faith" but this book is surprisingly dense for it's size. It was actually kind of hard to get though because it was so dry and factual. I'd recommend it for its intended purpose, that of providing a quick overview of Quakerism but not for being an enjoyable read.
Apr 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Those Quakers - so darn inoffensive!
Pink Dandelion's Very Short Introduction did a fine job explaining the history of the Quakers, their beliefs, and how they practice for the curious lay-person such as myself. If you're at all interested in Quakerism and aren't sure where to start, I'm sure you could do a lot worse than this book.
Sep 27, 2009 rated it liked it
A good introduction to the history of Quakers and lots of insightful information on British and US Freinds. However, it doesn't focus much on Quakers in Africa or South America which in the last century have become the numerically largest groups of Friends.
Niadwynwen Koch
Oct 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book does in a direct, concise way what so many other books do a worse job of in hundreds of pages. What this book does best is explain the differences among Friends. One shortfall is the lack of information about Quakers in the non-anglo world.
Aug 24, 2014 rated it it was ok
It was adequate, but overall a bit dry and dull and oddly passionless. I have read other books which characterize a much more vibrant faith than what Dandelion describes . . . if Dandelion's take is accurate, then it's no wonder his prediction for Quakerism's future is so dreary.
Dan Gorman
Sep 08, 2015 rated it liked it
This book certainly contains a lot of information about Quakerism, but the topical division of chapters and frequent jumping back and forth between Quaker movements make for disjointed reading. A more purely chronological structure might have been easier to follow.
Jun 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
A good and informative book, particularly having left Quakerism last year. I find the material to shed a lot of light on what I knew or felt to be true of the movement and it also shows how far some groups have strayed from their roots.
Jan 14, 2014 rated it liked it
Maybe a little too much history and not enough about contemporary Quakerism.
Maughn Gregory
A handy and succinct overview of the complex and fascinating history, philosophy and forms of practice of Quakerism.
Sep 30, 2011 rated it liked it
The final chapters are so confusing.
Craig Bolton
The Quakers: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) by Pink Dandelion (2008)
Kathleen O'Neal
Jun 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A well-written, concise introduction to the Quaker religion. Like most of the VSIs dealing with religion, it it very good.
While I learned much from this short book, I found myself less attentive to this book than some others in this series, perhaps a sign of a slightly unfocused approach.
Dec 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a very good introduction for those wishing to understand the origins, development, and beliefs of Quakers, as well as the different sects it has divided into.
Angela Joyce
rated it liked it
Oct 22, 2010
Connie Webster
rated it it was amazing
Jun 26, 2017
rated it really liked it
Aug 15, 2017
rated it really liked it
Jul 11, 2013
Sep 30, 2017 added it
Shelves: read-in-2017
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