George Fox and Early Quaker Culture

By Hilary Hinds

George Fox and Early Quaker Culture


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-8157-6
  • Pages: 232
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: August 2011
  • BIC Category: Religion, History, History of religion, History, RELIGION / Christianity / Quaker, HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain, Quakers (Religious Society Of Friends), Humanities / History of religion, Early Modern History


What was distinctive about the founding principles and practices of Quakerism? In George Fox and Early Quaker Culture, Hilary Hinds explores how the Light Within became the organizing principle of this seventeenth-century movement, inaugurating an influential dissolution of the boundary between the human and the divine. Taking an original perspective on this most enduring of radical religious groups, Hinds combines literary and historical approaches to produce a fresh study of Quaker cultural practice. Close readings of Fox's Journal are put in dialogue with the voices of other early Friends and their critics to argue that the Light Within set the terms for the unique Quaker mode of embodying spirituality and inhabiting the world. In this important study of the cultural consequences of a bedrock belief, Hinds shows how the Quaker spiritual self was premised on a profound continuity between sinful subjects and godly omnipotence. This study will be of interest not only to scholars and students of seventeenth-century literature and history, but also to those concerned with the Quaker movement, spirituality and the changing meanings of religious practice in the early modern period.


'The range of fresh perspectives about the nature of early Quaker discourse and culture that Hinds offers will be of great value to scholars of the period.'
Stuart Masters, Quaker Studies, 16:2 (2012)

'A consistently perceptive book ... a well-constructed, tautly argued, genuinely interdisciplinary study.'
R. C. Richardson, Clio: A Journal of Literature, History and the Philosophy of History, 41:3

'An insightful study of early Quaker culture ... Highly recommended.'
M. Cole, CHOICE, May 2012

'... raises important questions for future research ... This is an important book for its contents, but it is also to be highly commended for the depth of its research, how well it is written and its accessibility.'
Religious Studies Review, 38:3 (2012)

'a thoroughly enjoyable book, one that should be of use to scholars of Quakerism and of early modern religion and radicalism more generally.'
K. J. Kesselring, The Seventeenth Century, 28:1 (2013)


Introduction: seamless subjects
1 'As the Light appeared, all appeared': the Quaker culture of convincement
2 'Let your lives preach': the embodied rhetoric of the early Quakers
3 'And The Lord's Power Was Over All': anxiety, confidence and masculinity in Fox's journal
4 A technology of presence: genre and temporality in Fox's journal
5 'Moved of the Lord': the contingent itinerancy of early Friends
6 The limits of the light: silence and slavery in Quaker narratives of journeys to America and Barbados
Conclusion: singularity and doubleness


Hilary Hinds is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at Lancaster University.

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