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.
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.
“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
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.
The key concept for Friends Mustafa and Tamari is a political reality known as settler colonialism: the replacement of indigenous populations with an outside settler society. The authors argue that native history must be centered in working for justice for indigenous people.
I was asked by a Catholic friend if I knew Benjamin Lay, the Quaker abolitionist. I did not. She gave me an article in the September 2017 issue of the Smithsonian magazine, “The Cave Dwelling Vegan Who Took on Quaker Slavery and Won,” by Marcus Rediker.
I of course know of John Woolman, almost revered by many Friends including myself, but why had I never heard of Benjamin Lay? Indeed, Lay’s portrait, painted by William Williams in 1790, is in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC.
Have Quakers humanized themselves since the 17th century? If there have been changes, are these changes conscious through a process of “continuing revelation”?
The new book by Steven Pinker, Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress, indicates that this humanization process is indeed the case for Quakers and other religious groups.
In the book, Without You, There is No Us: Undercover Among the Sons of North Korea’s Elite, by Suki Kim (2015), it becomes apparent early on that the average North Korean loves their nation just as much as any patriotic resident of any other nation does. It also becomes obvious that young men in North Korea have many of the same interests, hopes, goals, and dreams as those elsewhere.
NOTE: Friends Committee on National Legislation asks all of us to write our Congress people urging to pass H.R. 4837, the NO UNCONSTITUTIONAL STRIKE AGAINST NORTH KOREA ACT.