No single word conjures up religion, spirituality, or the sacred more than "holiness." Yet its meaning in Christian theology, and application in Christian practice, has been greatly misunderstood. Few Quakers today of any persuasion would recognize the mystical depth of meaning the concept had for Quakers down through the centuries. Holiness: The Soul of Quakerism recovers the essential place of holiness theology in three centuries of Quaker history. It explores how Quaker spirituality was shaped in its inception by the experience of union with God, otherwise known in the Christian tradition as "perfection," and examines selected figures from Quaker history who represent different emphases of holiness in the context of their time and culture.
Endorsements & Reviews-
"In this original and stimulating work, Carole Spencer takes holiness as her interpretive key, rooting Quakerism in the Christian mystical tradition. She uses her analysis to challenge a number of widely-held assumptions about Quaker history and theology, and has opened the doors to a wide range of new research possibilities. This is one of the most powerful and interesting studies I have read for a very long time." --John Punshon, Retired Professor of Quaker Studies, Earlham College and Earlham School of Religion
"This book breaks the mold of Quaker history with its original and compelling thesis. Carole Spencer's work is first rate and highly readable. All scholars of Quakerism need to read this." --"Ben" Pink Dandelion, Programmes Leader, Centre for Postgraduate Quaker Studies, University of Birmingham
"Carole Spencer is one of a new generation of Friends focused on exploring commonalities in a diverse community of faith rather than highlighting schisms. . . . Her work opens a new area of scholarship as well as a perspective on faith and should be widely read." --Margery Post Abbot, Clerk of Friends Committee on National Legislation
"This book performs a remarkable feat in ways that no other book has done: outlining the spiritual and religious continuity between early Friends and the majority of Friends today. It will be read with interest by readers in all sectors of the Quaker movement and beyond." --Paul Anderson, Professor of Biblical and Quaker Studies, George Fox University
Carole Dale Spencer Arthur O. Roberts
Carole Dale Spencer, PhD, teaches Church History and Spiritual Formation at George Fox Evangelical Seminary. She is also Pastor of Adult Education at Reedwood Friends Church in Portland, OR, and a recorded Quaker minister. She was raised in the Presbyterian Church and joined with Friends later in life.