For two or three years now, I've been wondering what a "beyond Quakerism 101" course might look like. What topics would be covered? What readings would be recommended?
But before I address that, I'm acutely aware of the growing attention being given to social class and classism within the Religious Society of Friends.
Even in the past few days, Jeanne again has raised the class issue in relation to how we speak about adult religious education for ourselves. In particular, she asks how the language of college and graduate studies may come across to those among us--or those who might come among us--who perhaps don't value education as a goal for achievement in and of itself.
While Friends continue the Quakers-and-class discussion, I do want to share thoughts about, and seek input for, what "Part 2" of our continued learning about Quakerism might look like, assuming we've already learned about the nature of why and how we worship, why and how we conduct business, the history and sequence of the schisms in our 350 years, and so on.
I find I keep coming back to what I think of as practices and concepts that I would place on the "endangered" list for modern Liberal Quakers.
I'm aware that some of the topics I've included below might surprise some Friends, but given questions and comments I have heard in recent years as I've visited different meetings, I think there's a place to include them and/or review them...
TOPICS:What other topics would you add?
The corporate nature of our faith
Sense of the meeting
Testing a leading
Coming under the weight of the Cross
Interrelationship between committees, Meeting for Worship with attention to Business, and the meeting as a whole
Spiritual development among Friends (e.g. from finding comfort in the silence... to being challenged or "exercised"... to yielding to God's will...?)
Role and place of Scripture*
Role and place of Jesus and/or Christ*
What gave rise to the historic Testimonies
Truth based on experience (as opposed to individual belief or ideas)
Centrality of Meeting for Worship
Centrality of and qualities of the Inner Light/Inward Christ
What topics would you give the most "air time" for?
*Added after original post.