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«By CAROLE ANNE HAMBY A thesis submitted to the University of Birmingham for the degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY Department of Theology and Religion ...»

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‘Inwardness’ is: a) (facilitated by) stillness and silence; it is stillness, ‘not only an outward silence of the body but an inward silence of the mind’ (Apology, p. 304), and silence ‘naked and void of all outward and worldly splendour’ (Apology, p. 298); b) (served by) attentiveness of body, mind and heart; it is attentiveness of body’sitting silent together’ (Apology, p. 297 and p. 304), mind-‘inward quietness and retiredness of mind’ (Apology, pp. 298-299), and heart – as ‘we draw near unto him with pure hearts’(Apology, p. 49); c) (attained by) waiting and watching; it is waiting silently ‘as pure motions and pure breathings of God’s Spirit are felt to arise’(Apology, p. 296 and p. 300); and watching and waiting ‘upon God’ in themselves (Apology, p. 304 and pp. 331-332); d) (empowered by) receptiveness and self-surrender; it is receptiveness, waiting is a matter of diligence in ‘passive dependence’(Apology, p.311); and self-surrender so that the ‘pure Life has free passage through them [worshippers]’ (Apology. 299); e) (the means to) worship in the Spirit; it is worship in the Spirit, feeling the ‘Spirit to breathe through them [worshippers] and in them (Apology, p. 293), f) (openness to) ‘pure spiritual worship’; it is ‘to restore the true spiritual worship’... ‘worship which is performed by the operation of the Spirit...’ (ibid, p. 306 and p. 318).

146 For Barclay, Inwardness is framed within the New Covenant 119 in all the ways indicated in

combination, it is ‘worship of God in these Gospel times’.120 Worship which:

Jesus Christ, the author and institutor of New Covenant worship, testifies that God is neither to be worshipped in this nor that place, but in the Spirit and in Truth … because it being purely spiritual, it is out of reach of natural men to interrupt or molest it. Even as Jesus Christ, the author thereof, did enjoy and possess his spiritual kingdom while oppressed, persecuted and rejected of men.121 As indicated above, Inwardness is often qualified by other terms, and spoken about through a range of metaphors, for example, ‘Light’ and ‘Seed’,122 when used to speak of the ‘Spirit within’ or the ‘Christ within’.123 Overlaying the term in this way often complicates the meaning and focus of Inwardness in Quaker theology, yet it can also contribute richness of understanding allowing a metaphor to offer different interpretations. However, in the early days of Quakerism, and, as here in Barclay’s usage, reference to ‘inward’ experience, was to experience the ‘inward Light’ confirmed in and by the range of characteristics identified.124 Whether understood singly or in combination, these characteristics, seen in the context of Christianity, were accepted by Barclay to ‘... be spiritual’ and ‘by the power of the Spirit’ accessed through New Covenant Worship.125

4.4 Conclusion Insofar as Barclay’s work is, primarily, an academic development of Fox’s Quakerism, post 1664, in apologetic terms, it is unsurprising that his view of the significance of

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Chapter 2 on Fox.

123 Barclay, ibid, pp. 150-155.

124 Barclay, ibid, pp. 150-155, on ‘inward light’ as the ‘Christ within’, ‘inward Light of Christ’. Also Ambler, R. The Light Within-then and now’ in Universalist, 90, (2010), pp. 3-15, and Hamby, C ‘The light Within–a response to Ambler’ in Universalist, 92, (2011), pp. 4-14. Also King-Ambler, C. ‘What is Experiment with Light? An Introduction’, Universalist, 91, (2011), pp. 4-12.

125 Barclay, ibid, p. 316.

147 Inwardness is largely consistent with that of Fox. On occasions his explanations are expressed in different language and frameworks of thinking, but this does not obscure the bonds of understanding, even accepting the developments in Quaker interpretation of main tenets with reference to the Christian perspective.

The features of Quaker spiritual practice, termed Conditions and Elements in the two preceding chapters are found also in Barclay. In his apologetic consideration of Quaker faith and practice, Barclay is clear as to its nature within spiritual religion. For Barclay, transformation is the result of knowledge inwardly gained. His thinking, deriving both from other scholars and Fox, acknowledges ‘the primacy of inward knowing’ in God within the self. Thus, Barclay maintained that it is ‘drawing near unto him [God] with pure hearts’ that is essential, the means to which is turning within.

Examination of Barclay’s understanding of worship has shown that he writes of ‘inward quietness’, ‘silence’, ‘retiredness’, ‘passive dependence’, ‘watching and waiting’ and ‘attentiveness to body, mind and heart’ as the means to openness and recognition ‘that God is Spirit’. Thus his congruence with Fox can be charted as shown in Table 4 below.

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1 Barclay, Apology, ‘Sitting silent together’ (p. 297), Silent waiting upon God (p. 296 and p. 297), ‘Waiting together upon the Lord’, (296) 2 Barclay, ibid, Waiting, p. 296.

3 Barclay, ibid, p. 293.

4 Barclay, ibid, p. 311; See also; p. 343 on ‘nakedness’ of worship. If this form of worship is observed, it ‘is not likely to be long kept pure without the power: for it is, of itself, so naked... that it hath nothing in it to invite and tempt men to dote upon it, further than it is accompanied by the power.’ 5 Keiser, ‘Touched and Knit in the Life: Barclay’s Relational Theology and Cartesian Dualism’, in Quaker Studies, (Vol. 5, Issue 2, March 2001) p. 148 6 Barclay, ibid, p. 23.

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This chapter has examined Barclay’s position on Inwardness as a theological concept which has implications for a spiritual practice in worship. It has illustrated the fact that two distinct strands of thought, academic and experiential, interweave in his writing: although the Apology is an academic work it emphasises the inward, spiritual dimension of Quaker faith and practice.

Barclay’s view of Inwardness has been analysed with reference to Propositions 2 and 11 of his Apology. His use of quotation from both Christians of all ages and from Scripture has been used to show how, for Barclay, Inwardness through worship is the source of and means to immediate revelation’.110 Barclay’s discussion of humanity’s ‘new relationship’ with God is important for understanding Quakerism in terms of the New Covenant. It has been indicated that this understanding leads to an essentially ‘inward’ mode of worship, which Barclay maintains, is ‘from the Spirit of God’. It has been shown that he endorses a Christian view of Inwardness as entailing a range of features which are, in combination, distinctively Quaker.

Barclay has been found to agree with Fox on the main tenets of Quaker faith and practice in their Christian interpretation, and also in his understanding of Inwardness as the primary mode of spiritual knowing. Barclay asserts the fact that ‘the chief purpose of all religion is to redeem men from the spirit and vain pursuits of this world and to lead them into inward communion with God’ (Prop. 15). His work thus validates the proposal stated at the end of chapter 2 in relation to Fox’s teaching that he encouraged early Friends to create the Conditions that would support Elements of the practice of Inwardness in their Meetings for Worship.

The next chapter analyses Inwardness in the modern era of Quakerism.

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This chapter examines Quaker faith and practice during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, particularly following the influence of the Manchester conference of 1895, and the developments that followed the growth of Liberal Quakerism. It outlines changes occurring at the turn of the twenty first century (5.2) and identifies distinguishable faith positions and resultant priorities.(5.3) The chapter examines Inwardness in the modern period, under three headings: These are a) Quakerism as described discursively in terms of intellectual/academic considerations versus devotional accounts of spiritual experience (undertaken in 5.4.1 and 5.4.2); b) understanding of ‘that of God within’ in terms of the ‘Inward’ versus the ‘Inner’ Light (discussed in 5.5), and c) the growth of non-theism (explored in 5.6). Section 5.7 provides a conclusion to the chapter, which is summarised in 5.8.

5.2 Change at the turn of the twenty-first century

In the modern era the Religious Society of Friends has been challenged in ways it had not encountered previously. The concerns and language of a group of articulate intellectuals who spoke and wrote as ‘relevant to the age’ had far reaching consequences in the re-evaluation of contemporary Quakerism.1 However, there are, in the present, no “towering” figures, such as Fox, Penington and Barclay, discussed as representing seventeenth century Friends. For this reason, this chapter provides an overview both from Friends of the Britain Yearly Meeting at this time, and others from earlier times but still considered influential. The chapter demonstrates the theological diversity of Quakerism at

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The continuance of a tradition of silent worship brings a range of Friends into a form of shared communion in their meetings, often without full knowledge of each other’s belief positions. Richard Bauman explained, with reference to seventeenth century Friends, what he saw to be Quaker distrust of speaking, in terms of plain language rhetoric as well as spiritual truth.3 For British Friends in the present, the greater reliance on silence, and the lesser on spoken ministry, in Meeting for Worship, is to do primarily with spiritual truth; however, uncertainty about currently held belief systems may have some influence also.4 The range and distinctiveness of Friends’ involvement in their Society is sometimes hidden. What follows here makes the situation explicit.

There are a number of ways in which, in the twenty-first century, Quaker belief positions seem to be distinguishable: these lead to recognition that the relevance, and, potentially, the interpretations of Inwardness may vary accordingly. Distinctive positions are outlined below. These indicate a range of components that contribute to the ‘large, relational and interdependent matrix’ within which Quakers, and Quaker theologians, find meanings in their faith and practice.5 As Hinds suggests, there is for Quakers ‘a seamless 2 Hamby, C. Inward Spiritual Experience: the Heart of the Quaker Way? Woodbrooke Journal, No.

22, Spring 2008.

3 Bauman, R. Let your Words be Few: Symbolism of Speaking and Silence among Seventeenthcentury Friends (London: QHS, 1998[1983]), p. 45; Note: Bauman suggests that terms such as ‘word’, Light’ and Seed’ are often used synonymously by Friends, but the main term for Quakers is the ‘Light’ within. The ‘Light’ stood for the ‘indwelling spirit of God’ sown in mankind as the ‘seed’ of the spiritual life. This seed would grow once its path was cleared, its energy released and the ‘principle of God’ awakened. All of this was explained in Christian terms largely with reference to Biblical meanings and metaphors. Bauman maintains that ‘the Quaker belief in the voice of God speaking within those who were attentive to the Inward Light was the basis for a major doctrinal difference between others of their day’ (p.


4 A private conversation with a Kendal Friend, after Meeting for Worship on 30 th October 2011 records that ‘I don’t minister as much as I used to as I am uncertain of how people will hear me, and what they will think’.


O’.Murchu, D Quantum Theology: Spiritual Implications of the New Physics (New York:

Crossroad, 2013[2004]). The term ‘large, relational and interdependent matrix’ is used in connection with morality in the quantum context. The application of the term here concerns recognition that the full potential of the system as a whole i.e. Quakerism as a Society, requires acknowledgement of the range and fullness of its ‘communitarian’ context. p. 151.

153 field of divine signification, which is shaped by the doctrine of the inward light.6 It is thus, in a manner akin to Hinds’ ‘seamless field’, that the positions indicated below are to be read. They provide an integrated account, within the interdependent wholeness that constitutes Friends’ faith and practice in the modern era. Among the differences, there is a connectedness and interrelatedness in the range of positions that constitute present day Quakerism in Britain, even if these are not fully ‘seamless’. Despite potential distinctions between resultant interpretations of Inwardness, over emphasis on these would subvert explanations of the integrated spirituality of the Quaker religion. It is Meeting for Worship that holds Friends, espousing these different positions, together in corporate Stillness and Silence.

Twentieth century developments, including the founding of Woodbrooke,7 ‘combine ‘religious nurture and academics’. Courses at Woodbrooke have been offered in ‘Quakerism, Bible, church history, international affairs and problems of society’; the curriculum, in the twenty-first century, is increasingly diverse. The Manchester conference of 1895 set in motion changes that continue into the present day. The variety of spiritual concerns include the development of positions that range from Christian to Universalist, and Theist to non-theist.8 Dandelion’s elaboration of the range makes reference to Pilgrim’s ‘model of the future of Quakerism’.9 He presents the model as useful in general but maintains that it places too much emphasis on belief, suggesting that the behavioural creed, which he proposes, remains definitional for Liberal Friends. The behavioural creed frees Friends from the constraints of belief in any of its configurations.

Twenty-first century Quakerism does not demonstrate simple either/or frameworks within its range, rather it is the range of contributions itself that informs current Quaker thinking, both at informal and local levels, and in its formalised descriptions of 6 Hinds, George Fox, p. 4 and p. 5. Hinds writes of the ‘seamless field of godly signification’ that dissolved all boundaries due to the unifying integration of the light within.

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