Quaker Studies Research Guide


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Provides access to English language articles and reviews from an evangelical perspective.

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ProQuest Religion
Coverage of religious affairs and religious thinking from top periodicals, most with full text.

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Online access to the best reference titles on Religion in a single fully searchable and extensively cross-referenced resource, including classics such as The Encyclopedia of Protestantism, The Papacy: An Encyclopedia, Encyclopedia of Early Christianity, Encyclopedia of Death and Dying, Encyclopedia of Religious Freedom.

Theological Journals Search
Search over 300 religion journals related to scripture studies, systematic theology, practical ministries, and cognate disciplines for which full text is freely available on the Internet. Among the searchable ejournals are many of those listed in major religion Internet directories and ejournal sites including:

  • DOAJ Religion
  • findarticles.com
  • religiononline.org
  • Wabash Center

Database tips & tools

ATLAS Full Text Plus database tip:

You can search by scripture passage in the ATLA database.  At the top of the page there is a “Scriptures” link.  Click on this to go to the scripture browsing option.   In the browse box:

  1. Enter the scripture information (name, passage, colon, verse).
  2. Click the browse button.
  3. Select the boxes that you want.
  4. Click on the search button.

Here are examples of the format to use when entering a scripture reference in the browse box:

Daniel  6

Genesis 3:5

John, 2nd  1

Peter, 1st  1:6

Web resources

The site to answer questions such as "How many Quakers are in Oregon?

American Friends Service Committee
Quaker values in action.

The ARDA: Association of Religious Data Archives
Intended to democratize access to the best data on religion.

The Religious Society of Friends
Large listing of Quaker links, plus hosting for a number of Quaker groups.


Related resources

The Civilian Public Service Story
Describes conscientious objectors who chose to live peacefully in the World War II era.

Finding books

By subject search

Below are some links to various subject searches in the catalog. The subject search is a specific and helpful way to find materials about your area of interest. Explore these or try some of your own subject searches using the "Subject" tab in Foxtrax. For more information on "power searching" by subject, ask your reference librarian.

Quakers -- England -- Biography

Quakers -- Fiction

Quakers -- Persecutions

Society of Friends -- Charities

Society of Friends -- Conduct of life

By call number

If you want to browse for books in the library, use the call numbers below to find the subject areas that are of interest to you. You can use them to browse the reference section or the main stacks. The Library of Congress website may have a more detailed outline of call numbers for your subject area.

We have a Quaker Collection in the Special Collections Room on the second floor of the MLRC.  That is where we keep most of our Quaker materials.

Subclass BR Christianity
Subclass BV Practical Theology
Subclass BX Christian Denominations
BX  7601- 7795 Friends. Society of Friends. Quakers

Quaker Bibliography

This bibliography lists introductory materials about the Religious Society of Friends or Quakers. The Quakers began in 17th century England during a time of great political and religious upheaval.  George Fox is credited with being the founder of this movement of Christian revival in 1652.  Today Friends numbers are small (about 340,000) worldwide.  Yet their witness to peace, discernment and consensus in decision making, equality of all peoples, and the ability to directly encounter God in worship still influences religious understanding.

Quaker History

The A to Z of the Friends (Quakers). Abbott, M. P., Chijioke, M. E.,    Dandelion, P., & Oliver, J.W. (2006). Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press.
BX7611 .A3 2006
Organized as a dictionary or concise encyclopedia, the alphabetical entries cover Quaker history, Quakers of influence, and current practice and theology of Quakers worldwide.  Additional materials include a brief introduction to Quakers, several timelines, and world membership statistics.

A catechism and confession of faith. Barclay, R. (2001). (D. Freiday & A.O. Roberts, Eds.). Newberg, OR: Barclay Press.
BX7730.B25 C3 2001
Barclay is considered by many to be the first Quaker theologian.  This  book,  written in 1673, is the precursor to his most famous work, Barclay's Apology.  Barclay wrote this shorter catechism to provide a theological  answer to protestant groups persecuting Quakers. 

Friends for 350 years: the history and beliefs of the Society of Friends since George Fox started the Quaker movement.  Brinton, H. H. (2002) (Rev. ed.).  Wallingford, PA: Pendle Hill Publications. BX7631 .B72 2002
Brinton speaks to Quaker beliefs and practice and its place in the history of religious thought.  This is the updated version of his classic and articulate overview of Quaker practices, history, and understandings.

A living faith: An historical and comparative study of Quaker beliefs.  Cooper, W. A. (2001). (2nd ed.).  Richmond, IN: Friends United Press.
BX7731.2 .C66 2001
Addressed to both Quakers and non-Quakers, this book grew out the Basic Quaker Belief Class Cooper taught at Earlham School of Religion for some 30 years.  This is primarily a text on Quaker theological beliefs and what differentiates Quakerism from other Christian religions. 

The people called Quakers.  Trueblood, D. E. (1971).  Richmond, IN: Friends United Press.
BX7731.2 .T7 1971
Trublood sees Quaker belief and practice as radical faith experienced in the person of Jesus Christ.  His stated goal is to bring the reader into his convinced understanding of Quaker ideas and thought.

Portrait in grey: A short history of the Quakers.  Punshon, J. (1984). London: Quaker Home Service.
BX7631.2 .P98 1984
Punshon’s work is considered a classic for early Quaker history and pays particular attention to the foundations of Quakerism in England, its expanse to America, and the rise of differing expressions of Quakerism around the world.  

The Quakers:  A very short introduction.  Dandelion, P. (2008). New York: Oxford University Press.
BX7731.3 .D36 2008
This is a concise overview of the Quakers including:  history, beliefs,     theology, and worship. In addition Dandelion covers how Quakers have historically worked with other churches and the future of Quakerism.  Dandelion includes a chart identifying three branches of Quakerism: conservative, evangelical, and liberal.

The Quakers in America.  Hamm, T. D. (2003).  New York: Columbia   University Press.
BX7635 .H26 2003
Hamm, a Quaker archivist and historian, concentrates on contemporary American Quakers in this well researched and readable book.  His work captures the breadth of diversity in  current Quaker practice as well as the uniting historical testimonies.

The quiet rebels: The story of the Quakers in America
.  Bacon, M. H. (1969).  New York: Basic Books.
BX7635 .B3
Bacon looks at the effect Quakers and their beliefs have had on the culture of  America.  She writes her analysis as story, making for easy reading and concentrates on those areas most noted for contributions from American Quakers.

The Rich Heritage of Quakerism. Williams, W. R. (1987). (Reprint ed.).  Newberg, OR: Barclay Press.
BX7731.2 .W5 1987
Williams’ goal is to acquaint the world with the Christian tenets and qualities of faith that have come to define Quaker heritage.  He presents this  historical inventory through the lives of Quakers for the past three centuries as encouragement to Friends currently engaged in the Great Commission. Paul Anderson, George Fox University Professor of Religion, writes the epilogue entitled, “An Ongoing Heritage” connecting the heritage that   Willams describes to the future of Friends.

Why friends are friends: Some Quaker core convictions
.  Willcuts, J. L. (1984). Newberg, OR: Barclay Press.
BX7731.2 .W48 1984
Willcuts writes a series of short messages meant for Friends as a reminder of their identity.  In so doing, Willcuts explains the core convictions of Quakerism including: worship, sacrament, peace, and equality.  He relates each conviction to Biblical text and the historic Quaker experience.   


Early Quaker Writings, 1650-1700.  Barbour, H. & Roberts, A. O. (Eds.).  (2004). (Reprint ed.). 1973 Wallingford, PA: Pendle Hill Publications.
BX7615 .E37 2004 
The editors gathered writings and letters of early Quaker religious experience creating a documentary of the religious awakening of the time and the birth of Quakerism.

Hidden in plain sight: Quaker women's writings, 1650-1700.  Garman, M., Applegate, J., Benefiel, M., & Meredith, D. (Eds.). Wallingford, PA: Pendle Hill Publications. 
BX7748.W64 H533 1996
Original writings gathered from archives in England and the United States, this book is a summation of women’s writings from 1650-1700, contributory to the history of women’s religious thought.

The Quaker reader.  West, J. (Ed.). (1962). Wallingford, PA: Pendle Hill Publications.
BX7615 .W4
West has gathered numerous writings of foundational and inspirational Quaker voices from the years 1647-1945 including:  George Fox, William Penn, Mary Pennington, Margaret Fell, John Woolman, Elizabeth Fry, and John Greenleaf  Whittier. Her Quaker history timeline is especially helpful.

Quaker spirituality: Selected writings.  Steere, D. V. (Ed.). (1984). New York: Paulist Press.
BX7738 .Q34 1984 
Steere has gathered the original writings of foundational Quakers to illuminate the essence of Quaker spirituality. Steere has chosen to concentrate on six people: George Fox, Isaac Penington, John Woolman, Caroline Stephen, Rufus Jones, and Thomas Kelly as most representative to acquaint the reader with the Quaker spiritual experience.


The journal of George Fox.  Fox, G. (1997).  (Rev. ed. J. L. Nickalls Ed.).   Philadelphia, PA: Religious Society of Friends.
BX7795.F6 A31997
George Fox’s journal is also known as his autobiography.  This revised  edition by Nickalls is generally agreed upon to be the most accurate accounting and presentation of the journal material.  Fox did not write his own journal but rather dictated his thoughts to various scribes.  The journal contains Fox’s religious experience in his own words and his understanding of the work God had called him to do.

Quaker Historical Voices

A near sympathy: The timeless Quaker wisdom of John Woolman.  Birkel, M. (2003). Richmond, IN: Friends United Press.
BX7795.W7 B57 2003
John Woolman was instrumental in the anti-slavery movement and his  journal is still considered a spiritual classic. Birkel introduces the reader to Woolman’s empathy for the other and his conviction that there is something sacred in each of us.  

Barclay's apology in modern English. Barclay, R. (1991). (D. Freiday, Ed.).  Newberg, OR: Barclay Press.
BX7730.B244 B2 1991 
Barclay wrote this in 1676 in Latin and then in English in 1678; this edition has been faithfully edited for readability.  Barclay’s apology was written to answer the issues of contention between the contemporary denominations   of his day (Presbyterians, Catholics, and Methodists), and the Quakers.  It  is still thought of as the classic  theological treatise on Quaker faith.  

Elizabeth Fry: a Quaker life: Selected letters and writings. Fry, E., (2005). (G. Skidmore, Ed.). Lanham, Md.: Alta Mira Press.
HV8978.F7 A25 2005
Fry, known as the angel of prison reform, lived in the late eighteenth       century, 100 years after the birth of Quakerism.  Her writings show not  only her faith journey and contributions of service but also indicate how Quakerism itself was changing. Fry’s picture is on the British £5 note.

The faith and practice of the Quakers.  Jones, R. M. (1980).  Richmond, IN: Friends United Press.
BX7731 .J75 1980
Originally written in 1927, Jones concisely speaks to Quaker faith and  practice including: its history, its type of Christianity, its sacramental view of life, its testimonies of simplicity and peace, and its way of conducting business.

The light within and selected writings of Isaac Penington.  Penington, I. (1998). Philadelphia, PA: Tract Association of Friends. 
BX7617.P43 A53 1998 
Penington became a Quaker in his later years, and wrote of his convincement experience and his spiritual growth through the practice of Quakerism. This is a short selection from his four volumes of collected works which are also in our library under the title, The works of Isaac Penington: A minister of the Gospel in the Society of Friends: including his collected letters.

Lost prophet: The life and times of Bayard Rustin.  D’Emilio, J. (2003). New York: Free Press.
E185.97 .R93 D46 2003
Bayard Rustin was a Quaker, a pacifist, a mentor to Martin Luther King Jr., the organizer of the 1963 Civil Rights March on Washington DC, as well as a gay Black man. Most of his life was spent behind the scenes doing the strategic work necessary to challenge the systems of inequality through non-violent civil disobedience. D’Emilio explores Rustin’s contributions to social justice as well as his faith in the larger context of his times.

No cross, no crown.  Penn, W. (1981). (rev. ed., R. Selleck, Ed.).  Richmond, IN: Friends United Press.
BX7617.P5 N6 1981
William Penn is best known for his “Holy Experiment” in Pennsylvania but his  journey to that place began with his convincement as a Quaker.  This book is the combination of two tracts (written while imprisoned in the Tower of London) about what it is to be a true Christian, his understanding of faith, and the need to take up the Cross of Christ daily. Early friends used this book as a handbook for rightful living.

Selected letters of Lucretia Coffin Mott.  Mott, L. (2002). (B. W. Palmer, Ed.).  Urbana, IL:  University of Illinois Press.
HQ1413.M68 S45 2002 
Mott was a Quaker activist and reformer as well as a mother of five  children who lived in the 19th century.  Her name is often linked to the   issues  of abolition and women’s suffrage and some refer to her as the first    American feminist.  This is the largest published collection of Mott’s letters, including some circulars, organized chronologically allowing the reader to view history for themselves.

The sorrows of the Quaker Jesus: James Nayler and the Puritan crackdown on the free spirit.  Damrosch, L. (1996). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
BX7795.N3 D35 1996
Damrosch, a Harvard Literature professor, presents the story of James Nayler and his condemnation as a blasphemer. Damrosch explores the   significance of the Nayler incident both for the development of Quaker  theology and the power struggle between the protestant denominations of the time.

A testament of devotion.  Kelly, T. R.  (1996). San Francisco, CA: Harper.
BV4832 .K43 1996   
Touted by many as a spiritual treasure, Kelly presents five devotional    essays directing the reader to consider elements of the inner life including: the light within, holy obedience, blessed community, the eternal now and social concern, and the simplification of life.

Undaunted zeal: The letters of Margaret Fell.  Fox, M.F. (2003).  (E.F. Glines, Ed.).  Richmond, IN: Friends United Press.
BX7795.F75 A4 2003 
Glines has painstakingly gathered and transcribed all the letters of Margaret Fell in order to present a robust picture of the most influential woman in the development of Quakerism. Glines provides introduction to each letter   giving the reader not only Fell’s own words but also the context and    scholarly interpretation of the letter’s significance.

A testament of devotion.  Kelly, T. R.  (1996). San Francisco, CA: Harper.
BV4832 .K43 1996   
Touted by many as a spiritual treasure, Kelly presents five devotional    essays directing the reader to consider elements of the inner life including: the light within, holy obedience, blessed community, the eternal now and social concern, and the simplification of life.

Undaunted zeal: The letters of Margaret Fell.  Fox, M.F. (2003).  (E.F. Glines, Ed.).  Richmond, IN: Friends United Press.
BX7795.F75 A4 2003 
Glines has painstakingly gathered and transcribed all the letters of Margaret Fell in order to present a robust picture of the most influential woman in the development of Quakerism. Glines provides introduction to each letter   giving the reader not only Fell’s own words but also the context and    scholarly interpretation of the letter’s significance.

Quaker Distinctives and Testamonies

Religious Distinctives

The amazing fact of Quaker worship. Gorman, G. H. (1973). London, England:  Friends Home Service Committee.
BX7737 .G67 1973 
Gorman writes about the step-by-step process and internal experience of traditional Quaker   unprogrammed worship. He writes as a Quaker who is a member of an unprogrammed            meeting and yet is able to give the outsider a sense of its continual wonder for him.

Encounter with silence: Reflections from the Quaker tradition.  Punshon, J. (1987). Richmond, IN: Friends United Press.
BX7737 .P86 1987 
Punshon uses silence as a discipline from which to write about the Quaker tradition of living sacramentally in witness to the truth and in communion with the spirit of Christ.

The liturgies of Quakerism. Dandelion, P. (2005).  Burlington, VT: Ashgate.
BX7737 .D36 2005   
Dandelion looks at the Quaker liturgies of the past and present (in programmed and unprogrammed Friends Meetings) within a concept of worship that includes the practice of silence.   In so doing he illuminates the early Quaker sense of the end times, direct revelation, and intimacy with God. He presents his findings against the concept of liturgy in other Christian  expressions of worship.

Faith and Practice: A book of Christian discipline
.  Northwest Yearly Meeting. (2003).
Northwest Yearly Meeting owns George Fox University and is the body through which George Fox University maintains its Quaker faith roots.  This “e-book” is instructive in defining the  beliefs, ways of conducting business, and the organization of Friends churches to which Northwest Yearly Meeting adheres.

Social Testimonies


Celebration of discipline: The path to spiritual growth.  Foster, R. (1978). San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row.
BV4501.2 .F655 1978
Foster’s famously popular book divides the spiritual disciplines into the inward disciplines of meditation, prayer, fasting, and study;  the outward disciplines into simplicity, solitude, submission, and service; and the corporate disciplines into confession, worship, guidance, and celebration. Foster encourages us all to use these disciplines to grow spiritually in our relationship with God.  In the section on simplicity, Foster encourages us to discover and learn to run our lives from the divine center, seeking first the kingdom of God in all that we do. Subsequent to publishing this book, Foster published, the Freedom of Simplicity in 1981 enlarging the scope of the single chapter into an entire volume.

Plain living: A Quaker path to simplicity.  Whitmire, C. (2001). Notre Dame, IN.: Sorin Books.
BV4647.S48 W48 2001 
A convinced Quaker with a divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School and work in pastoral counseling and prison non-violence, Whitmire’s life brings authenticity to her words. She describes the historical Quaker path of plain living, her journey on that path, and the gifts of that journey emphasizing the re-ordering of our lives to become Spirit centered.


Mothers of feminism: The story of Quaker women in America. Bacon, M. H.   (1986).  San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row.
BX7748.W64 B331986
The concept of equality is a truth or testimony for Quakers.  Although women other than Quakers were involved in issues of equality such as abolishing slavery, prison and asylum     reform, and women’s suffrage, the Quaker women in American history were in many cases   instrumental.  Bacon chronicles many of these instances.

Practicing discernment together: Finding God's way forward in decision making.  Fendall, L., Wood, J., & Bishop, B. (2007). Newberg, OR: Barclay Press.
BX7748.C35 F4 2007
This book is a recipe for consensual decision making within religious organizations with the primary goal of listening to God in the midst of the process.  The authors have used real case studies to illustrate how the principles of discernment can work and how consensus is possible in small as well as large groups of decision makers.  Deeply embedded in this process is the testimony of the equality of all before God.

Quaker testimony against slavery and racial discrimination: An anthology.   Stella, A. (1958). London, England: Race Relations Committee by Friends Home Service Committee.
HT917.F74 A55 1958a
This tract includes historic testimonies of Quakers defining the equality of all mankind and recording their witness against slavery and racial discrimination from George Fox in 1676 to the Third World Council of Friends in 1954.


Let your life speak: listening for the voice of vocation.  Palmer, P. (2000). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
BV4740 .P35 2000 
Palmer a Quaker educator, who has written many books on teaching and education, has      gathered previously published essays illustrative for the   discernment of calling. Palmer notes that an integrous life comes when we learn to live our gifts rather than our goals.

The testimony of integrity in the Religious Society of Friends.  Cooper, W. A. (1991). Wallingford, PA: Pendle Hill Publications.
BX7748.I64 C66 1991
Integrity is at the heart of Quakerism as this tract explains.   This is the foundational testimony that upholds all other testimonies by ensuring a  devotion to honesty, authenticity, and wholeness in public and private dealings.


Faithful deeds: A rough guide to the Quaker peace testimony. (2002). London, England: Quaker Books.
BX7748.P4 F35 2002
This guide explains the spiritual basis of the Quaker peace testimony and gives  practical  advice on learning to make peace a part of your life and witness.

Practicing peace: A devotional walk through the Quaker tradition.  Whitmire, C. (2007). Notre Dame, IN: Sorin Books.
BX7748.P43 W55 2007
The quotations of individual Quakers spanning the past 350 years interspersed with stories of successful non-violent movements invite the reader to understand the Quaker testimony for peace. Whitmire notes that peace must begin inside before it can be manifest and practiced in the wider world.

The Quaker peace testimony 1660 to 1914.  Brock, P. (1990).  York,  England: Sessions Book Trust.
BX7748 .W2 B73 1990
This is an in-depth look at the history of the Quaker peace testimony from 1660 to the beginning of World War I.  Although, pacifism was emerging  as an outgrowth of equality, George Fox voiced the Quaker peace testimony in 1659 when he said, “Quakers, to be true Christians, must turn the other cheek. They must learn to love, and cease to kill, their enemies”. This stand was codified in the Declaration of 1661, now thought of as the seminal Quaker Peace Testimony.