by Leonard Kenworthy

Chapter 4, in Part I of Friends for Over Three Hundred Years of Quakerism: A Study Guide on the Religious Society of Friends (1st published 1981, now out of print).

Because we are living in the 20th century, it is often difficult for us to see the course of Quakerism during that period in proper perspective. In his book on Friends for 300 Years, Howard Brinton characterized the 1900s with the single word Modernism. Such a title has the advantage of brevity and indirectly indicates the impact on Quakerism of such factors as the modern interpretations of the Bible, the movement for “a social gospel,” the theory of evolution, and the increasing interdependence of nations. But the word modernism covers only one aspect of the Society of Friends in this century.

After considerable mental struggle, we have selected three ideas to characterize this period in Quakerism. They are the expansion of that movement in the United States and in several other parts of the world, the extensive efforts of Quakers in humanitarian causes, and the search for identity, including the increased understanding among American Friends.

Some Effects of Modernism on Quakers

Well into the 20th century the effects of modern thinking racked Christianity. Some parts of Quakerism, especially in the United States, did not escape the discussions and dissensions that accompanied the ideas of evolution and the modern interpretations of the Bible, often caricatured by the famous Scopes Trial in Tennessee, with William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow as the leading stars in that drama.

In many places conservatives and modernists wrestled with the idea and interpretations involved in these new ideas and there were several unfortunate incidents in Quaker circles, especially in Quaker colleges in the midwest. Hicksite Quakers, with their emphasis upon rationalism and their highly educated members, were able to accept the new ideas more easily and so continued largely unscathed by the modernist movement.

The Geographical Expansion of Quakerism in the United States

A map of Friends Meetings and Friends Churches in the U.S.A. in 1900 would show a concentration of groups along the eastern seaboard (as far south as North Carolina), a similar concentration in the states, and a few groups in the west. A large majority of those Meetings and Churches were in rural areas or in small towns.

A map of Quaker meetings and churches in the 1980s, however, would be quite different. It would show Quaker groups in almost all of the 50 states, with fewer groups than before in rural areas and in small towns and many more in urban areas and suburbs.

In the early decades of the 20th century, thousands of Friends who took part in the migration to the cities, were lost to membership in the Society of Friends, a large percentage of them joining other denominations which were already established in urban areas. Slowly and belatedly, however, new Quaker groups were formed in urban and suburban locations. Some of them were Friends Churches, established by the extension work of various yearly meetings. Even more were Quaker Meetings held on the basis of silent waiting, which were formed in cities, often near colleges or universities.

In the 1900s a few yearly meetings have been “laid down.” But several new groups have been formed, starting in the late 40s. Most of them are still small and nearly all are in areas of the United States where there have not been Quaker groups before. Those new yearly meetings or conferences are – Alaska, Pacific and its two offshoots – North Pacific and Intermountain, Rocky Mountain, South Central, Lake Erie, Southern Appalachian, Piedmont, and Southeastern.

This is one of the most encouraging aspects of Quakerism in the United States in the 20th century.

The Geographical Expansion of Quakerism in Other Parts of the World

Even more striking is the extension of Quakerism into other parts of the world in recent times. Much of that growth has come as a result of the missionary activities of English and American Friends. Some of it has come from the establishment of silent meeting groups, especially in Europe.

Altogether there are now 50 yearly meetings of Friends around the world, of which 18 have been formed in the 20th century. Since that topic will be dealt with in more detail in Chapter 13, on The World-Wide Society of Friends [of the book this chapter comes from] it may suffice here to list the yearly meetings and special associations of Quakers at present, outside the United States and Canada.

In Europe there are now yearly meetings in Denmark, England, France, Germany (one in East Germany and one in West Germany), Ireland,the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden (including a few Friends in Finland), and Switzerland, plus a few worship groups elsewhere. In the Middle East there is a small yearly meeting, composed primarily of Friends in Ram Allah, in what was once Palestine and now is in the West Bank, where two related Friends Schools, for boys and girls, are located.

In Africa there are now four large yearly meetings in East Africa, a small group in Southern Africa, plus a large group of Quakers in Burundi. Until recently there were several thousand Quakers in Madagasacar, but they decided to join the United Church when it was formed in 1969 by the amalgamation of several denominations.

In the Pacific area and in Asia there are yearly meetings or gen- eral associations of Friends in Australia, India (three groups), Japan, New Zealand, and Taiwan.

And in Latin America there is a Central American Yearly Meeting, as well as many Friends in Bolivia and Peru, plus small groups in Costa Rica, Jamaica, and Mexico.

Completing the Organizational Cycle of the 19th Century

Some of the trends of the 19th century continued well into the 20th century. And some derivatives of those trends culminated in the early part of the 1900s.

One of the derivatives of the splintering of American Quakerism in the 19th century was the organization of various national groups in the 20th century.

In the latter part of the 19th century most of the Orthodox yearly meetings joined together in national conferences to further their faith and to foster join efforts in such field as assisting Indians and Negroes, and promoting peace. Those meetings led to the formation in 1902 of the Five Years Meeting, with a common Discipline or book of faith and practice. Its headquarters were in Richmond, Indiana, and its concerns many and varied, with boards or committees on education, religious education, peace, Indians, Negroes, and home and foreign missions, Its chief publications were The American Friend and The Messenger of Peace.

As groups abroad, fostered by the various yearly meetings which joined the Five Years Meeting, became self-directing yearly meetings, they became a part of that body.

In recent years it was decided to meet every three years and to change its name to the Friends United Meeting. At the same time The American Friend was changed to Quaker Life and a publications board was established, known as the Friends United Press.

Today the Friends United Meeting is a global fellowship which comprises over half of the Quakers in the world. Its yearly meetings are Baltimore, California, Canada, Cuba, East Africa (three) [ed. Note: now many more], Indiana, Iowa, Jamaica, Nebraska, New England, New York, North Carolina, Southeastern, Western, and Wilmington.

Meanwhile a similar movement had taken place among Hicksite Friends in the United States. In the 19th century four national organizations had been formed as a result of common interests. They were the First-Day School Conference, the Friends Union for Philanthropic Labor, the Friends Religious Conference (for persons interested in the relation of Friends and various world religions), and the Friends Education Conference (for persons concerned with Quaker schools and colleges). Often those groups met simultaneously. They were the forerunners of the Friends General Conference, which was formed in 1900 as a loose association of Quaker yearly meetings.

Since that time a number of reunited yearly meetings have decided to join both the Friends United Meeting and the Friends General Conference, and several of the newer yearly meetings and associations have joined the General Conference as it is widely known.

Today there are approximately 33,000 Friends in that national body, about a third of whom are also members of the Friends United Meeting. By far the largest yearly meeting in the F.G.C. is the reunited Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, with a little over 13,000 members.

The full list of yearly meetings and associations in this group includes Baltimore, Canada, Illinois, Lake Erie, New England, New York, Northern, the Ohio Valley, Philadelphia, the Piedmont Friends Fellowship, South Central, South Eastern, and Southern Appalachian.

The interests of General Conference Friends are broad, but do not include missions. Its headquarters are in Philadelphia and its chief publication the Friends Journal (formerly the Friend Intelligencer), published by an independent corporation. For many years its conferences were held every two years at Cape May, New Jersey. Nowadays conferences are held alternately in the East and the Midwest.

When the Five Years Meeting was organized, some Orthodox Friends did not feel it was “sound” theologically, or evangelical enough. Some groups did not join it and others eventually withdrew from it. They continued their close association, however, and in 1965 formed the Evangelical Friends.Alliance [ed. note: now known as Evangelical Friends Church International]. The Yearly meetings in that association are the Eastern Region (formerly Ohio), Mid-America (formerly Kansas), Rocky Mountain (a group formerly part of Nebraska Yearly Meeting, plus others), and the Northwest (formerly Oregon).

Since the days of the Wilburite-Gurney split in the 1800s, the various Wilburite groups had maintained contact with each other, chiefly through the exchange of Epistles and through intervisitation, but they had not held any national conferences or attempted to form any overall organization. In 1965, however, a conference of all Wilburite or Conservative Friends was held at Barnesville, Ohio. No formal organization was established, but that meeting did foster firmer ties among that small group of American Quakers.

The Search for Identity and Understanding

Meanwhile a very encouraging movement was slowly emerging in the United States in the 20th century. It was an attempt on the part of some Friends and some Friends groups to understand other Quaker groups better, to heal the wounds caused by past separations, to search for a common past and a common vision of the future of Friends, and to work together on concerns in which all Quakers could cooperate. Many factors contributed to this development. In his History of Quakerism, Elbert Russell pointed out that one of the most important contributing factors was the encouragement by the interdenominational Christian Endeavor movement for young people in every religious affiliation to study their past and to apply pertinent parts of it to the present. Thus many younger Quakers who knew little of the history of the Society of Friends, discovered for the first time their past and began to claim at least a part of their precious inheritance.

As early as 1910 a Young Friends movement was formed, including the young people of several parts of American Quakerdom. [ed. note: There was a very active Young Adult Friends movement drawing on all four branches of American Quakerism at least initially from the early 1950’s to mid 1980’s called Young Friends of North America. World Gatherings of Young Friends were held in Greensboro, North Carolina, in 1985, and in England in 2005.]

Then, in 1917, the American Friends Service Committee was formed. All branches of Friends did not support that national organization, but Friends from several groups did cooperate in it and learn to know each other, to understand each other better, and to cooperate on common enterprises concerned with the peace testimony of Quakers during World War I.

After World War I, many of the Quaker groups around the world sent representatives to the first world conference of Friends, held in London in 1920. The study by local groups in many places of the documents prepared for that international meeting, the common experiences of the delegates there, and the reports back home of those attending that historic event, contributed greatly to the movement for understanding among the various groups of Quakers in the United States.

Further momentum was given this movement by the action of a few local meetings in joining two national groups of Friends as a public testimony against existing divisions. Among the earliest of those meetings was the 57th Street Meeting in Chicago, which joined Western (Orthodox) and Illinois (Hicksite) yearly meetings; Chestnut Hill in Pennsylvania, which joined both the Wilburite-Orthodox and Hicksite branches of the two Philadelphia Yearly Meetings; and Montclair, New Jersey, which became a member of both the Orthodox and Hicksite groups in New York.

Then came the formation of united yearly meetings, led by various groups in New England which formed an inclusive fellowship in 1945, followed by Canada, Philadelphia and New York in 1955, and then Baltimore in 1968.

Meanwhile three more world conferences of Friends brought representatives of various branches in the United States together at Swarthmore and Haverford Colleges in 1937; at Oxford, England, in 1952; and at Guilford College in North Carolina in 1967.

Out of the 1937 international meeting came the formation of the Friends World Committee for Consultation, the first world-wide body of Quakers ever formed. As the name indicates, it is a loose confederation of most Quakers around the world without power to dictate to any yearly meeting.

Likewise, Friends of different backgrounds and persuasions began to cooperate in the Friends Committee on National Legislation, organized in 1943, and in its regional and state-wide groups.

Perhaps the most encouraging development to date was a meeting of the representatives of all Friends in the United States in St. Louis in 1970 and the formation of the Faith and Life Movement. This led to the historic meeting of individuals from all groups of Friends from the United States and from Latin America at Friends University in Wichita, Kansas in 1977. No attempt was made there at organizational unity; the purpose of that conference was to promote a dialogue among Friends of different persuasions.

Despite these overtures of friendship among the various groups of Quakers in the United States in the 20th century, there are still some major points of difference. We need to be aware of them and yet preserve the right of each group to its own interpretation of Quakerism. As Donald Moon wrote in the booklet on What Future for Friends, published as a pamphlet for discussion in conjunction with the St. Louis Conference:

We must, if we are searching for unity, protect and maintain the distinctive contributions and eccentricities of individual members of the Quaker family.

In that same pamphlet, Edwin R. Bronner pointed out how difficult it is for human beings to respect people whom they expect to be like themselves — but aren’t. On this theme he wrote:

We love the poor; we love the person who has never heard the Christian message; we love minority groups; we love the people of other religious groups — Catholic, Jews, Moslems — but do we really love our fellow Quakers?

Despite this human fallacy, one of the most encouraging aspects of Quakerism in the 20th century has been the search on the part of many Friends for their “roots,” a growing tolerance and in some cases understanding and respect for persons and groups with different interpretations of Quakerism, and a revitalization of the broad-based movement of Friends in the United States and around the world.

The Development of Centers for the Quickening of Spiritual Life

Early in the 20th century English Friends had started a unique Quaker center, called Woodbrooke, in Birmingham. It was a dream of John Wilhelm Rowntree and carried to fruition under the leadership of George Cadbury who said once, ”We have the theory that every man and woman is to be a priest, and yet we have done nothing to train them for that office.” For a long time it had served as a center for the quickening of the spiritual life of English Friends and other seekers.

Many American Friends had studied there or had visited this remarkable center and felt that American Quakerism would be enriched by a similar institution.

Woolman House, in Swarthmore, near Philadelphia, had served on a small scale in this regard, but it had been closed and nothing had taken its place. So a group of Philadelphia Friends of both branches established an adult Quaker study center in Wallingford, a suburb of Philadelphia. It was opened in 1930 and called Pendle Hill, the place iri England where George Fox had had his vision of “a great people to be gathered.” As its director, Henry T.
Hodgkin, a prominent English Friend who had served many years in China, was named. Following him were Howard and Anna Cox Brinton, as co-directors for many years. At [the time of writing] the “clerk” [was] Robert Lyon.

Pendle Hill has served now for 50 years as a retreat, a study center for Friends and non-Friends, and as a place for conferences and lectures. Its staff members have also done considerable extension work in many Meetings, primarily in the eastern part of the United States.

In 1960 Friends in New York Yearly Meeting established a similar center in the central part of the state on property given it by Elsa Powell, and named Powell House, in her memory.

More recently the Earlham School of Religion was founded at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, as a place for the training of pastors, religious education directors, and other leaders in religious work. It is intended primarily for the training of such leaders among Quakers, but it has drawn a good many persons from other religious denominations.

Largely through the generosity of Isaac Woodard of Indianapolis, a conference center was also established in Richmond, Indiana, on the grounds of the Friends United Meeting. It, too, has become a very important quickening influence on the spiritual life of many individuals and Meetings, largely in the middle west. Often it cooperates with the Earlham School of Religion in common activities.

What Do the Membership Statistics Say?

The study of the statistics of any Meeting, yearly meeting, or the Society of Friends as a whole can be fascinating, even though the reading of such figures is often a tricky business. For example, one wonders what effect the assigning of yearly meeting budget assessments to local Meetings on the basis of their membership, has had on trimming the membership rolls.

A glance at the total world-wide membership of the Religious Society of Friends is instructive. Here are those figures for four widely separated years in this century:

  • 1935 159,000
  • 1955 188,000
  • 1960 202,000
  • 1973 192,000

There is a sizeable jump in the figures between 1935 and 1960 but a large loss in terms of the rapidly growing world population of that period. Most of the gains in that period were in East Africa and in Bolivia and Peru, where several thousand members were added.

In the period from 1960 to 1973, one needs to remember that approximately 7500 members in Madagascar were subtracted when the United National Protestant Church was formed and Friends there joined it.

During the 20th century London Yearly Meeting has made small gains until recently. When examining the figures for that group, however, one needs to bear in mind the fact that two new yearly meetings have been formed in this century by members of London Yearly Meeting, namely Australia and New Zealand.

Most of the Quaker groups in Europe have made small gains, too, numerically. But in view of their size, their percentage gains have often been large. For example, the membership of the Swiss group in 1959 was 105; in 1973 it was 155.

In the statistics on Quaker membership in the United States, there are some startling facts. A fascinating analysis of much of that material can be found in a pamphlet by Kenneth Ives on Which Friends Groups Are Growing and Why?

The Conservative or Wilburite group was losing steadily in thiscentury until fairly recently, when a few new groups were formed in cities and in college communities.

Several of the yearly meetings in the Friends United Meeting have been losing, too. Most conspicuous in that regard is Indiana Yearly Meeting, which rose to a total of over 19,000 and is now down to a little under 10,000. North Carolina, however, has grown steadily in this century, having a total now of 13,480 members, making it larger than Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, with 13,289 members.

As Kenneth Ives points out in the pamphlet mentioned above, the two groups which are making the most gains are the Evangelical Friends Alliance and the Friends General Conference — the two most divergent bodies of Friends in the United States.

Some Outstanding Friends in the 20th Century

The list of outstanding Friends which this writer has made for the 20th century is longer than those for other periods of Quaker history. That may be due to several factors. Probably we are too close to persons in this century to “sort out” those whose influence has been the greatest. Furthermore, we are including a few Friends from outside the Anglo-American orbit. And finally, it is possible that the enormous amount of social activism in this century warrants the inclusion of more names than in other periods.

Some of the names which should be on such a tentative list will be mentioned in Chapters 9 and 10 on Quaker Concerns. Hence they are omitted here. Also, one needs to remind readers that many Friends who have been or are important locally are not included in this list of nationally or internationally known Quakers.

To indicate the strength brought to Quakerism in the 20th century by some of the very small but very strong groups in other parts of the world, let us begin with the Swiss Yearly Meeting. Undoubtedly the best-known person inside and outside the Society of Friends was Pierre Ceresole, the founder of the international work camp movement and indirectly of the Peace Corps, as the moral equivalent of war, with picks and shovels replacing guns and bayonets. Within the Swiss group, however, it was Helene Monastier who for years was the “mother” of that yearly meeting — a modern Margaret Fell Fox. To those two names should be added Anni Pflueger, who headed a modern “underground railroad” to help Jews escape to Switzerland from Germany.

In Germany it was Hans Albrecht, a sagacious businessman and concerned Quaker, who did more than anyone else to foster the growth of that group and to maintain it even in the days of Naziism. Overlapping with him was Margarethe Lachmund who carried on the leadership of the German Yearly Meeting in the 50s, 60s and 70s — one of the most remarkable women in Quaker history. Linked with those two persons should be the name of Emil Fuchs, a brilliant Biblical scholar, who contributed much to German Quakerism. Wilhelm Hubben’s name might be added, although his contributions were greatest in his adopted home, the United States, as a teacher at Westtown and at George School and as the long-time editor of the Friends Intelligencer and its successor the Friends Journal.

To cite one more of these smaller groups, mention should be made of a few of the outstanding Friends in the Sweden Yearly Meeting. One was Elin Wagner, one of only two women elected to the Swedish Academy. Another was Emilia Fogelklou Norlind, a prominent writer. A third was Per Sundberg, the founder and director for many years of the famous Viggbyholme experimental school and a leading educational pioneer in that country.

High on the list of outstanding English Quakers in the 20th century is the name of John Wilhelm Rowntree, whom Rufus Jones termed ”one of the most remarkable of all the young leaders in our Quaker history.” After a period of agnosticism in his adolescence, he became a highly committed Quaker, taking part in the Adult Education movement, launching a new magazine called Present Day Papers, outlining a monumental study of Quaker history, and devoting himself creatively to the revitalization of the Society of Friends in England. Although plagued by the onset of blindness, he perservered in his plans until his death in 1905 at the age of 36. A glimpse into the spiritual springs of his life can be sensed by the prayer he gave at the Manchester Conference of Friends in 1895 when he was only 26 years old:

God grant to our church the spirit of understanding which shall give to her the eye of a seer, the voice of a prophet, the place and power of a leader. Is there indifference to the higher life? Then, 0 Christ, convince us by Thy Spirit, thrill us by Thy Divine passion, drown our selfishness in Thy invading love, lay on us the burden of the world’s suffering, drive us forth with the apostolic fervor of the early church. So only can our message be delivered — Speak to Thy people that they go forward.

In the early part of the 20th century Neave Brayshaw, John William Graham, and Edward Grubb aided English Quakerism by their ministry, their writings on Quakerism, and their teaching at Woodbrooke where Rendel Harris, a distinguished scholar, was the director for many years. Coupled with them should be the name of Henry T. Hodgkin, much of whose life was spent in China and some of it as the first director of Pendle Hill in the United States. Among the many Friends working in Germany after World War I were A. Ruth Fry and Corder and Gwendoline Catchpool. Several English Quakers spent years in India and were close associates of Gandhi and Tagore. Among them were Horace Alexander, Agatha Harrison, and Marjorie Sykes. In their efforts for peace, Bertram and Irene Pickard should be cited for their years of work for Friends in Geneva for improved international relations. Another valiant worker for peace was Philip Noel Baker, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1959 for his lifetime endeavors. And Carl Heath’s name certainly deserves to be on any list of notable English Friends. Most of his life was spent as the secretary of the National Peace Council. But it may well be that his idea of Quaker Embassies or Quaker Centers around the world was his outstanding contribution. He was also the first chairman of the Friends World Committee for Consultation.

Without doubt Rufus M. Jones (1863-1948) has been the most influential Friend of modern times. In addition to more than 40 years as a teacher at Haverford College, he was the author of 56 books and hundreds of pamphlets and articles on philosophy, mysticism, and Quakerism, and a popular speaker in college chapels and religious conferences. His talks and writings were always enriched by his “down-East” humor from his Maine background and by especially apt illustrations. Coupled with these remarkable talents was his gift in organizing groups. He was one of the founders of the American Friends Service Committee and the creator of the Wider Quaker Fellowship, as well as the first editor of The American Friend.

In addition to their influence as professors of philosophy at Earlham and Haverford Colleges, respectively, D. Elton Trueblood and Douglas Steere have had a deep impact inside and outside theSociety of Friends as speakers and writers. Thomas R. Kelly was also associated with Earlham and Haverford but is best known for his moving account – A Testament of Devotion, already a devotional classic.

Meanwhile Howard and Anna Cox Brinton were serving Friends in many capacities as professors at Earlham and elsewhere, as the catalysts behind the formation of the Pacific Yearly Meeting, as co-directors of Pendle Hill, and as writers.

Henry Cadbury was another unique leader in 20th century Quakerdom, best known for his work in translating parts of the Bible, his teaching at Harvard University, his chairmanship of the American Friends Service Committee, his historical writings, and his dry humor.

Then there was Clarence Pickett, a Quaker pastor, Earlham College professor, and long-time executive secretary of the American Friends Service Committee.

Many Friends have been influential in peace work in the 20th century but Frederick J. Libby and Raymond E. Wilson stand out especially. Fred Libby was the founder and for many years the executive secretary of the National Council for the Prevention of War; Ray Wilson the long-time director of the Friends Committee on National Legislation. Meanwhile several women Friends were prominent in the work of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, serving as national and international presidents. Among them were Emily Greene Balch, Hannah Clothier Hull, and Dorothy Hutchinson. Recognition of Emily Greene Balch’s outstanding work came with the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to her.

Of course there are scores of other Friends whose names could well be included here if space permitted.

Some Major Concerns of Friends in the 20th Century

No overall account of Quakerism in the 20th century would be complete without at least a quick mention of some of the areas of social concern, even though these will be dealt with in more detail in Chapters 9 and 10 on Quaker Concerns. Five general areas will be highlighted at this point.

Despite the uneasiness of some Friends about the existence of Quaker schools, they seem to have had a new lease on life in recent years. One college, Nebraska Central, was closed, but two new ones have been formed — Malone in Ohio and the Friends World College in New York state. Also, 20 new schools, primarily at the elementary level, have been started. In addition the adult study centers of W oodbrooke, Pendle Hill, Quaker Hill, and Powell
House have been established, plus the Earlham School of Religion. Furthermore the Friends Education Council has been set up in England and the Friends Council on Education in the United States to strengthen the bonds among Quaker schools. And in almost all Friends educational institutions the search has been intensified to find and accent the distinctive Quakerly aspects of those schools and colleges.

Closely related to those trends is the concern for the religious education of boys and girls in various yearly meetings by the appointment of full-time religious education directors, the establishment of Quaker youth camps, and the starting of junior yearly meetings.

Far better known outside the Society of Friends has been the many-sided and far-flung work of Quakers for peace, culminating in the award in 1949 of the Nobel Prize for Peace jointly to the Friends Service Council of England and the American Friends Service Committee.

The work of these and related organizations has sometimes been in caring for the rights of conscientious objectors during wars — World Wars I and II, the Korean War, and the war in VietNam. At other times it has been concern about the feeding of people in such places as Germany, Poland, and the U.S.S.R., or relief and reconstruction in Korea, VietNam, Bangladesh, and Nigeria.

Often such concern has been the voicing of protests against war— as in VietNam, or against the misuse of nuclear energy.

More positively, it has been the work of the Quaker centers in many parts of the world, the holding of peace institutes, the convening of seminars for young international diplomats, the Quaker Program at the U.N., or the work of the Friends Committee on National Legislation.

Closely linked with these concerns has been the work of Friends in prisons. Much of that work has connected with the Quaker conscientious objectors in prisons in England and the United States. Recently there was has been a renewed interest in men and women in prisons and the establishment of Indulged Meetings in a few of them in the United States.

With the increasing longevity of people has come an increased interest in the welfare of older Friends. Particularly worthy of note is the increase in the number of retirement homes or communities in such places as the Quaker Gardens and the Quaker Retirement Center in California, Friendsview Manor in Oregon, the Friends Fellowship Community and the Friends Apartment Homes in Indiana, the Quaker Apartments in Ohio, Friends Homes in North Carolina, Friends House and Broadmead in Maryland, Kendal and Crosslands and Foulkeways in Pennsylvania, and Medford Leas in New Jersey.

Despite the positive aspects of such movements, some Friends have been disturbed lest the social service activities of Quakers in this generation mean an undue emphasis upon the social as opposed to the spiritual emphasis of Quakerism, and lest too much stress is being placed upon the professional organization of Friendly concerns, with too many of them emerging from the top rather than from local Meetings.

Some Questions on Quakerism in the Twentieth Century

  1. What idea or ideas strike you most forcefully in this chapter? Why?
  2. Which of the Quaker concerns mentioned in this chapter have been highlighted by your local meeting or yearly meeting in
    recent years?
  3. What other outstanding Quaker men and women would you add to the list given in this chapter? Why?
  4. How do you react to the danger expressed by some persons in recent years about the emphasis upon social concerns surpassing the accent on spiritual development?
  5. How do you react to the danger some Friends see in concerns arising from Quaker organizations rather than from individuals and/or monthly meetings?
  6. Is your yearly meeting or Quaker association growing? If so, why? If not, why not?
  7. In what efforts to increase understanding and cooperation among different kinds of Friends has your local and/or yearly meeting taken part? What else could you do?

A Reading List on Quakerism in the Twentieth Century

Readers may well consult the various histories of Quakerism as cited earlier, such as those by Brinton, Newman, Russell, Trueblood, and Vipont. Materials prepared for the world conferences in Oxford, England, and at Guilford College in North Carolina are important and interesting. There are other references in different chapters, such as the two chapters on Testimonies and Concerns.

Among the special accounts of Quakerism in the 20th century are the following:

  • Bacon, Margaret H. The Quiet Rebels: The Story of Quakers in America. Basic Books, 1969.
  • Elliott, Errol T. Quakers of the American Frontier. Friends United Press, 1969. (on Quakerism in the midwest and far west)
  • Jacob, Caroline Nicholson and Greenleaf, Sue. Quakers Discover the Southeast: In the Past: The Meetings Today. Southeastern Yearly meeting, 1981. 44 pp.
  • LeShana, David C. Quakers in California. Barclay Press, 1969.
  • Moore, J Floyd. Friends in the Carolinas. North Carolina Yearly Meeting, 1971. 30 pp.

Autobiographical and Biographical Materials on 20th Century Quakers

The most comprehensive accounts of 20 century Quakers are contained in two volumes edited by Leonard S. Kenworthy on Living in the Light: Some Quaker Pioneers of the 20th Century.

Volume I is on 21 men and women in the U.S.A.; Volume II in on 17 men and women from other parts of the world.

Among the other materials available are the following:

  • Bacon, Margaret Hope. Let This Life Speak: The Legacy of Henry Joel Cadbury. Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1987.
  • Elliott, Errol T. Quaker Profiles from the American West. Friends United Press, 1972.
  • Jones, Mary Hoxie. Rufus M. Jones. Home Service Council, 1970 edition.
  • Jones, Mary Hoxie (ed.). Thou Dost Open Up My Life. Pendle Hill Publications, 1963. 36 pp. (Selections from the writings of Rufus M. Jones.)
  • Jones, Thomas E. Light on the Horizon: The Quaker Pilgrimage of Tom Jones. Friends United Press, 1973.
  • Kelly, Richard M. Thomas Kelly: A Biography. Harper and Row,1966.
  • Kenworthy, Leonard S. Worldview: The Autobiography of a Social Studies Teacher and Quaker. Friends United Press, 1977.
  • Kenworthy, Leonard S. Living in a Larger World: The Life of Murry S. Kenworthy. 1986.
  • Kerman, Cynthia E. Creative Tension: The Life and Thought of Kenneth Boulding. University of Michigan Press, 1974.
  • Libby, Frederick J. To End War: The Story of the National Council for the Prevention of War. Fellowship Publications, 1969.
  • Pickett, Clarence E. For More Than Bread. Little, Brown, 1953.
  • Russell, Elbert. Elbert Russell – Quaker: An Autobiography. Harper and Row, 1974.
  • Tritton, Frederick J. Carl Heath: Apostle of Peace. Friends Home Service Council, Undated.
  • Trueblood, D. Elton. While It Is Still Day: An Autobiography. Harper and Row, 1974.
  • Vining, Elizabeth Gray. Friend for Life: The Biography of Rufus M. Jones. Lippincott, 1958.
  • Viking, Elizabeth Gray. Quiet Pilgrimage. Lippincott, 1970. (an autobiography)
  • Wahl, Albert J. Jesse Herman Holmes: A Quaker’s Affirmation for Man. Friends United Press, 1979.
  • Wilson, E. Raymond. Thus Far On My Journey. Friends United Press, 1976.