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Quaker Studies

Engaging Quaker Thought and Practice

Overview   |   Our Faculty   |   Plan of Study

 

The Quaker Studies minor offers students a framework within which they can engage in concentrated study of Quaker faith and practice, and thereby utilize to the fullest the rich resources in teaching and research on Quakerism available at Earlham College and the Earlham School of Religion (ESR). Some courses explore the development of Quaker religious thought. Others turn attention to the active service tradition of the Society of Friends.

The Program offers both introductory and advanced courses, and further work is possible by student request, through independent study and special seminars. The Quaker Studies minor does not presuppose a particular major. Instead, it is designed to meet the needs of students who want to know more about Quaker faith and practice irrespective of any specific professional or academic pursuits.

Students in this program engage with the Newlin Center for Quaker Thought and Practice.

Our Faculty

Tom Hamm
Professor of History; Curator of the Quaker Collection & Director of Special Collections
Plan of Study

The Minor

The Minor in Quaker Studies requires the following:

  • REL 210 Quakerism

Students with a strong background in the study of Quakerism may substitute one of the following courses at ESR: HCST 220 Quaker Life, THST 340 Quaker Belief or SPST 334 Quaker Spirituality.

  • REL 160 Friends Colloquium

This course, a weekly discussion of a Quaker text, past or present, may be taken more than once when different topics are offered. Past topics have included Quakers and fiction, Quakers and world-wide traveling ministry, and Quakers and the testimonies.

  • A course in Bible, such as REL 155 Hebrew Scriptures or REL 165 New Testament

Because Friends in earlier generations made such great use of the Bible, many of their writings cannot be fully understood unless one grasps the biblical background to the religious ideas or the biblical allusions that filled early Quaker writings.

  • At least 10 additional credits to be worked out with a mentor. Some possibilities include courses:

On Quakerism: REL 305 Seminar and 482 Special Topics when considering explicitly Quaker topics.

At ESR: HCST 220 Quaker Life, THST 340 Quaker Belief, SPST 334 Quaker Spirituality or PJST 351 Quakers in Conflict.

  • Ford/Knight projects with a Quaker focus

Examples of past projects include aspects on Quaker history, early Quaker women, Quakers and choral music, Quaker education, Quakers and theatre, Quakers and other contemplative traditions and the women of the Quaker Gurney family.

  • A course that includes a significant research component that focuses on Quaker thought or history

Examples include HIST 367 Women and Men in American Society, PAGS 130 Introduction to Peace Studies: History of Nonviolent Movements and REL 420 Religious Responses to War and Violence. Others may be arranged with a member of the Quaker Studies faculty.

  • Service as a teaching assistant in REL 210 Quakerism or REL 160 Friends Colloquium

The teaching assistant option is intended to serve as an opportunity for the student, usually in the Senior year, to articulate an understanding of Quakerism to others. This requires the approval of the instructor well in advance of the course.

  • An appropriate independent study
  • Appropriate internships