We will be posting here a number of writings that are helpful for deepening one’s own personal spiritual formation or for use in spiritual formation and adult religious education classes and workshops. Some of these may already be posted in other sections of this site but will also be linked to from here. We welcome recommendations, particularly if you have these in .pdf or word document format and are reasonably certain the material is either out of copyright or is all right to post on an educational website like this one. Email Peter Blood for suggestions or feedback.

First Friends (17th century)

Robert Barclay

  • Barclay in Brief is a Pendle Hill Pamphlet by Eleanor Price Mather that is a heavily edited version of Barclay’s Apology for the True Christian Divinity. The Table of Contents includes links to each of the full original 15 propositions on Friends Heritage Press.
  • Biblical Roots of Quaker Worship describes in detail how Friends’ early beliefs & practices were rooted in their understanding of scripture in the 10th Proposition of Barclay’s Apology “Concerning Worship”.

Margaret Fell

George Fox

James Nayler

Isaac Pennington

Middle Period Friends (18th & 19th centuries)

John Woolman (1772-75) was an American Quaker who labored long against Friends being enslavers of African Americans. He also wrote and spoke about how greed and overconsumption harms the poor, encourages warmaking, and damages God’s creation.

20th century writings

Edward Grubb was an English Quaker who opposed adoption of the Richmond Declaration of Faith by London YM. He delivered the 1914 Swarthmore Lecture to London YM on the subject of The Historic & Inward Christ.

Thomas Kelly is a major figure in 20th century Christian devotional literature. His most well-known work is Testament of Devotion.

Howard Brinton was director of Pendle Hill from 1936-52

Lewis Benson (1906-86)—was a Quaker scholar of George Fox who helped to re-establish a uniquely Quaker understanding of Christianity.

Kenneth Boulding—a world-renowned economist, pioneer of peace research, and deeply Christ-centered Friend (1910-93)

Leonard S. Kenworthy has written many books on Quaker history and practice. Here are first 4 chapters from his book Quakerism: A Study Guide on the Religious Society of Friends (1st published 1981, now out of print). As of 1982 he was a member of Brooklyn Monthly Meeting in New York.

21st century writings

Doug Gwyn is a Quaker historian, theologian, and retired pastor. Here is a list of many of his books and pamphlets.

Brian Drayton is a member of Souhegan Meeting in New England YM. He blogs at Amor Vincat (“May Love Have the Victory”).

Quaker Bookstores

  • QuakerBooks is the book service of Friends General Conference in Philadelphia.
  • Pendle Hill Publications publishes many books and pamphlets in addition to their quarterly Pendle Hill Pamphlets series. They have both an online and in person bookstore.
    Note: See the List of Pendle Hill Pamphlets available in this online library.
  • Friends United Press is the publication arm of Friends United Meeting.
  • Barclay Press comes out of Newberg, Oregon. Publishing since 1959.
  • Quaker Book Shop of Britain Yearly Meeting has both a physical bookshop and online store based in London.
  • Inner Light Books has a growing important collection of publications by leading Quaker authors of today including Marcelle Martin, Elaine Emily, Brian Drayton, Paul Buckley, and Lloyd Lee Lewis among many others – as well as new editions of some early Quaker works.
  • Quaker Heritage Press has extensive publications of early Quaker writings including the original Barclay Apology and the collected works of James Nayler, Isaac Penington, and Job Scott among others. Most of these works are available to read online.