Quaker Universalist Conversations

Tolerance & Intolerance: Two Timely Reviews

The Limits of Tolerance by Lacorne
American Intolerance by Bartholomew & Reumschussel

Our world is escalating toward the sort of brutal intolerance of “the Other” that led to World War II. This time, though, the government and people of the United States are perilously close to embracing that brutality themselves.

In this post we review two books that add to our depth perception regarding tolerance and intolerance, though without offering solutions. Denis Lacorne’s The Limits of Tolerance traces the history and vulnerability of the Enlightenment value of tolerance. Robert Bartholomew and Anja Reumschussel’s American Intolerance indicts the United States for its terrible history of official and populist intolerance toward each new influx of immigrants.

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Public Apology and Reparations

Sorry About That: The Language of Public Apology
by Edwin L. Battistella – A Review

Edwin L. Battistella’s book Sorry About That is a compilation and analysis of stories of pubic apologies in the primarily U.S. experience. Leaders everywhere make apologies, yet apology-phobia is a global disability. Apology is complex in human relationships. Effective public apologies are even more complex. Public apologies differ with cultural context, just as personal apologies differ in language and timing.

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Existence After Death

A Review of J. Garrison’s Shakespeare and the Afterlife

John S. Garrison’s Shakespeare and the Afterlife is, on the surface, a study of the views and devices used by William Shakespeare in his plays and poetry in treating the nature and activities of existence after death. More deeply, though, this book is a meditation on the variety of contemporary views about existence after death….

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The Universalist Core of Christianity

Jesus and After: The First Eighty Years, by E. Bruce Brooks – A review

Jesus and After: The First Eighty Years, by E. Bruce Brooks – A review. Is the Christian scripture a moving text which changes with time? The author witnesses to such changes through an episodic philological analysis of Christian scriptures.

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In the Children’s Best Interests, by Lynne Taylor – A Review

Unaccompanied Children in American-Occupied Germany, 1945-1952

Lynne Taylor’s In the Children’s Best Interests is a timely reminder of the universal plight of migrating children throughout history. It highlights the chronic inadequacy of government mechanisms for the management of their needs and lives. More telling, it shocks us with the recognition that our current national and global controversy over refugees from violence is just the latest in a string of moral failures.

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Three books for “white” people

Reviews from Friends Journal, Sept 2018

The Books section of the September 2018 Friends Journal includes reviews of three exemplary works to help “white” readers go deeper into self-awareness about the hidden dynamics of racism. This post offers an excerpt from each review. We strongly encourage you to read the linked reviews and to seek out the books themselves.

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Terror Talk

Terrorists at the Table: Why Negotiating is the Only Way to Peace, by Jonathan Powell – A Review

Terrorism is universal in all cultures, in all traditions, in all times. Terrorism is only a means not an end, in human behavior. When other means are not perceived as effective, terrorism is a final option. The only way to stop terrorist is talking.

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The Meaning of Belief: Religion from an Atheist’s Point of View, by Tim Crane

A Friends Journal review by Brian Drayton

“This book … differs from some recent atheist writings on religion in two ways. First, it is not about the truth of religious belief but about its meaning: what it means to believe in religious ideas, what it means for believers, and what it should mean for nonbelievers too.… Second, it differs from much recent atheism in the picture of religion it draws.” – Author Tim Crane

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Reintroducing The Quaker Universalist Reader Number 1

The 1986 collection republished in eBook format

Reader #1 is a collection of essays, addresses, and lectures about Quaker universalist themes originally published by the British Quaker Universalist Group (QUG) as a series of pamphlets. In 1986, Quaker Universalist Fellowship (QUF) republished the first six essays with permission, adding “Is Coexistence Possible: Christianity & Universalism in the Religious Society of Friends,” a talk given in America by Daniel Seeger during the Friends General Conference Gathering of 1984.

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A Mirror on Current Quakerism

The Cambridge Companion to Quakerism, ed. by Angell & Dandelion – A Review

Angell and Dandelion have shepherded a wide and global diversity of new specialist authors. They organize the volume around an overview of Quaker history 1650-2015, and they summarize Quaker relationship to literature, social justice, environmental sustainability, peace, education, and practical life simplicity.

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