This book is based on Michael J. Sheeran‚Äôs doctoral work in the Dept. of Politics at Princeton University. A Jesuit priest, he spent two years (1973‚Äî75) conducting interviews, reading, and observing the actual decision-making of the Quakers. Sheeran was convinced that the Quakers “have something of first importance to share in their technique of reaching a viable resolution of their own problems.”
It is hoped that this book will be useful in tracing how Friends successfully employ a tradition of religious decision making which is deeply embedded in Scripture but which other Christians have typically lost. In particular, the ways Quakers seem to avoid the problem which face Catholics new to the method are explored. Social scientists and political philosophers are invited to discover in Quakers what may be the only modern western community in which decision making achieves the group-centered decisions of traditional societies. The conclusion discusses Friends as a possible answer to the common contemporary wish for advancement beyond the fragmented individualism of “liberal” human. Finally, the author hopes Quakers themselves will find in these pages a helpful mirroring of Friends decision making. Newcomers to Quakerism and those in roles of leadership within the community may see in this study an outsider’s understanding of the possibilities and pitfalls of the Quaker method of going beyond majority rule.
Author: Michael Sheeran
Publisher: Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
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Topics: Adult Education, Bible, Centering, Clearness Committees, Conflict Management, Faith & Practice, Meditation & Centering, Peace, Peace Testimony, Quaker Faith & Practice, Quaker History, Quaker Process, Quaker Values, Simplicity, Stewardship, Testimonies, Theology, Welcoming