what is the quaker peace testimony

It is a conviction that has shaped the entire story of Quakerism. My paternal grandfather was a stern, strait-laced Ohio Quaker. In its broadest sense, the Peace Testimony has led to Quaker involvement in community mediation, AVP [Alternatives to Violence Program], peace education, anti-racism work, etc., etc. Fox’s assertion that he “lived in that light and power that takes away the occasion for war” and Woolman’s advice that we “examine our lives to see that the seeds of war are not contained therein” firmly establish connections between this and other testimonies. In the beginning of the Declaration, Friends noted that "wars and fightings proceed from the lusts of men" (James 4:1-3). We value honesty and seek to maintain moral and ethical principles, though we certainly don’t pretend to be flawless. By Howard H. Brinton. My father, his eldest son, lived out most of those values in his own life, including the traditional Quaker repudiation of armed conflict. Peace is seen by Quakers as far more than a rejection of warfare. The Peace Testimony, to me, means waking up every day, and getting back into the situation as it is, with the best of our conscience, and encountering the world as we know it. More specifically, Quaker witness led to a recognition of the right to conscientious objection to military service and has involved relief and ambulance work in war-stricken areas. Like other Quaker testimonies, it is not a "belief", but a description of committed actions, in this case to promote peace, and refrain from and actively oppose participation in war. It was awarded to Friends worldwide in 1947, recognizing three centuries of Quaker efforts to heal rifts and oppose war, and especially recognizing Quaker relief work in Europe following the two world wars. Read more about our work challenging militarism. The Quaker Testimony for Peace: Introduction. The Quaker Testimonies are nothing at all like Christian Science Testimonies. The peace testimony also means working for forgiveness and reconciliation and dwelling in a sense of our shared humanity. The peace testimony also means working for forgiveness and reconciliation and living in a sense of our shared humanity. This page offers the ways that Quakers define peace and how many of us take an active approach to Peacemaking. 1. Our Quaker peace testimony arises out of the conviction that, as George Fox said, there is a “life and power that took away the occasion of all wars.” Dwelling in the life and power involves opening ourselves to the Inward Light, allowing the Light to shine into all the dark corners where we might find occasion for attacking those who have hurt us. My father evidently tried to dissuade his younger brother from joining the Army. Swarthmore College Peace Collection Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 19081 USA (610) 328-8557 . Living out a witness to peace has to do with everyday choices about the work we do, the relationships we build, what part we take in politics, what we buy, how we raise our children. The peace testimony, the testimony against war, is the truth as Quakers have understood it. Peace testimony, or testimony against war, is a shorthand description of the action generally taken by members of the Religious Society of Friends for peace and against participation in war. The clas­sic state­ment of the Quak­er peace tes­ti­mo­ny is the 1660 Dec­la­ra­tion. The paper argues that the Peace Testimony grows from … Quakers are the only religion so far to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. In this context, lusts refers not particularly to sexual desires, but more broadly to covetousness and greed. Friends have historically spoken out against injustice as we consider that part of living with integrity. The specific actions taken by Friends varied over the years, with some refusing to pay war taxes, take up arms, or choosing to remain ‘neutral’ during conflict. As Quakers, striving to live with integrity is simply our spiritual practice. Peace Testimony Last updated November 11, 2019 The Peaceable Kingdom (c. 1834) by Edward Hicks. Peace testimony, or testimony against war, is a shorthand description of the action generally taken by members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) for peace and against participation in war. A failed polit­i­cal coup was blamed on Quak­ers and it looked like Friends were going to be per­se­cut­ed once more by the civ­il author­i­ties. Re: Peace Testimony: It struck rare, but there have been instances in which the 'testimony' has waned forgotten. The author begins with an examination of Quaker heritage. It is primarily, as we talked about in the Gospel of Luke, a belief that because Christ is resurrected from the dead, he is our contemporary now empowering the church to live in virtue of a life that reflects that reality. The peace testimony is not something Quakers take down from a shelf and dust off only in wartime or in times of personal or political crisis. Historic Quaker Peace Testimony. Friends’ social testimonies form a unit derived from a common source: the direct insight of the soul into the nature of Truth and Goodness, interpreted through Divine Light. Pendle Hill Pamphlet #27 (1945) Price: $ 7.00. About the Quaker peace testimony. This week will be the last week that Jennifer Exline will be our secretary. The Peace Testimony … The Quaker Peace Testimony . I thought “Quakers are peaceful, and they are conscientious objectors,” and that was initially what drew me to the Quaker Faith. But what is “Peace?” We offer this as a real question because the concept of peace can have quite a broad definition. In our current circumstances, few tasks are more urgent for Friends than to reexamine and reaffirm our Quaker Peace Testimony. Like other Quaker testimonies, it is not a "belief", but a description of committed actions, in this case to promote peace, and refrain from and actively oppose participation in war. Quaker work has led to a recognition of the right to conscientious objection to military service and has involved relief and ambulance work in war-stricken areas. Twelve friends and attenders gathered for this Threshing Session. Quakers are working with others to expose and challenge the new tide of militarism. Sources of the Quaker Peace Testimony. What is the Integrity Testimony? A downloadable, printable PDF booklet about Quakers and peace, touching upon historical roots and present-day concerns. The explanations of Quakers for the peace testimony echo the views of early Christians whose writings are still available to us. Because of their peace testimony, Friends are considered as one of the historic peace churches. “Peace testimony, or testimony against war, is a shorthand description of the action generally taken by members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) for peace and against participation in war. George Fox at Houlker Hall, 1662 . The Peace Testimony is probably the best known testimony of Friends. What is the Peace Testimony? Like other Quaker testimonies, it is not a belief, but a description of committed actions, in this case to promote peace, and refrain from and actively oppose participation in war. This anti-war declaration of nonviolence later inspired Edward Hicks, one of the few accepted Quaker artists in America during the 1800s, to paint more than 60 versions of “The Peaceable Kingdom” which are now displayed in museums worldwide. Yet at the outset of WWII, the youngest son of the family – my Uncle Clinton – chose to join the Army. Peace testimony, or testimony against war, is a shorthand description of the action generally taken by members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) for peace and against participation in war. When George Fox was asked to take sides in the English Civil War, he answered that “he lived in the Life and Power that takes away the occasion for war.” Quakers seek to avoid violence on both the personal and the societal level, and affirm that the Spirit that takes away the occasion for war is available to everyone, everywhere, in all situations. Eng­land was embroiled in war and insur­rec­tion. Peace testimony, or testimony against war, is a shorthand description of the action generally taken by members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) for peace and against participation in war.Like other Quaker testimonies, it is not a "belief", but a description of committed actions, in this case to promote peace, and refrain from and actively oppose participation in war. Return to Front Page. Description Additional information Synopsis. The belief that violence is wrong has persisted to this day, and many conscientious objectors, advocates of non-violence and anti-war activists are Friends. Not all Quakers embrace this testimony as an absolute; for example, there were Friends that fought in World War I and World War II. Re-examing Quaker Peace Testimony. The following statement by Emma Byrne was presented to open the session: Friends are known for their Peace Testimony more than for any other single reason. A Quaker writer, educator, told of a distressing event he experienced. The Quaker Peace Testimony: Living in the Power. The peace testimony has inspired Quakers to protest wars, refuse to serve in armed forces if drafted, to seek conscientious objector status when available, and even to participate in acts of civil disobedience. The Quaker Peace Testimony is the testimony most frequently associated with Quakers. Scripture: James 3:13-18. Synopsis of Threshing Session on Quaker Peace Testimony March 3, 2002 Sponsored by the Peace and Social Justice Committee, John Farrell, Clerk. Promoting peace education. But there is so much more to it. The peace testimony is probably what most people who know a little about Quakers will most associate with us – we have often been described as one of ‘the historic peace churches’. Sources of the Quaker Peace Testimony quantity. THE QUAKER PEACE TESTIMONY: AN INVESTIGATION INTO PRIVATE RELIGIOSITY (University of Berkeley, California: unpublished MA dissertation, 2005) This dissertation presents an investigation into the contested interpretations of the Quaker ‘peace testimony’, based on a survey of a group of Quakers in California. Music: Molly Loesch . The Quaker Peace Testimony The Quaker peace testimony refers to the historical legacy of Quakers’ actions, or refusal to act, in times of war. (4) But in conclusion, he came back to the beginning: Rejection of war (i.e., organized armed violence) is the key point. (And if you stop by the office, remember to wear a mask.) We utterly deny all outward wars and strife and fightings with outward weapons, for any end, or under any pretence whatsoever; and this is our testimony to the whole world. Challenging militarism . The Peace Testimony is, however, more than a mere refusal to participate in war. Like other Quaker testimonies, it is not a “belief”, but a description of … April 26, 2020 . This is the essence of The Quaker Peace Testimony, written by George Fox and Friends in 1661. Announcements: The newsletter, The Light, is coming out this week. Add to cart. Our faith in action. Peace testimony, or testimony against war, is a shorthand description of the action generally taken by members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) for peace and against participation in war. Abstract: This paper looks at the Peace Testimony of Quakers (the Religious Society of Friends) and argues that, although Quakerism is commonly seen as pacifist (in some sense of that term) by many both within and without the Society, the Peace Testimony is best seen as not pacifist. As Quakers, we are probably best known for our commitment to Peace. Please find a moment to express your gratitude for her years of service to our congregation. Quaker Peace Testimony and Pacifism . Colm McKeogh. 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