Focus Points:

  1. What were their beliefs?
  2. How did they feel about Puritanism?
  3. How did they differ from the Puritans?
  4. How did they live? What did they eat? Wear?
  5. What did they do for work?
  6. What did they see God as?

Brief Summary:

Quakers can be described as a religious group of people who attended Friend meetings and Friend churches (Friends is another name for Quakers). There isn’t necessarily one set of beliefs followed and accepted by Quakers because of the different branchesof Quakers; In addition, during meetings questions are not resolved with majority rule or vote – they try to tend to everyone’s needs and opinions by ruling out something if someone is strongly against it or having a period of silent worship until differences are resolved. Early Puritans did not agree with Quakerism at all, and tried to keep then out of their community. In Puritan Massachusetts, Quakers were branded by and "H" for heretic, had their tongues burned with hot-irons, had their ears cut off, and then were exiled. Any who returned were given the dealth penalty, both men and women would be hung.

Most Friends would say it isn’t following beliefs that make you a Quaker, but participating in the Friend community and the search for Divine Guidance. Quakers do however follow several testimonies of pacifism, social equality, integrity, and simplicity. They hold Yearly-Meetings and create their own Book of Discipline or Faith and Practice, which includes statements of belief or doctrine and the uniquely Quaker feature Advices and Queries. Sometimes Quakers worship in silence; while other times there are singing, prayers, Bible readings, or sermons, sacraments, sacred books and buildings, creeds, and clergy. Quakers see themselves of loving children of God and share many similarities to the Christian religion. English founders thought of Quakerism as a restoration of originaly Chrisitanity .They believe God can help everyone in life; he can forgive them and give them strength to proceed - if He is willing to speak to them it is their responsibilty to listen.

external image ColonialQuakers.jpg
lived freely
didn't tolerate anyone who
disagreed with their beliefs;
and found Quakerism offensive
were open to new ideas; and
strongly thrived for peace
looked to the Bible and
structured doctrine
look to the "Light" for

Present Day Quakers:
external image 09.jpg

  • still exist as Liberal, Pastoral, and Conservative Quakers
  • an estimate of about 300, 000 Friends today
  • now a mixture of Christians and non-Christian