Woolman Peacemaking Forum

John Woolman - photo courtesy of colonialsense.com

Photo courtesy of colonialsense.com

"May we look upon our treasures, and the furniture of our houses, and the garments in which we array ourselves, and try whether the seeds of war have any nourishment in these possessions or not."

- John Woolman (1720-1772)

The John Woolman Peacemaking Forum was established in 1986 as a way of articulating peacemaking issues to the George Fox University community. Its purpose is threefold: to provide a forum for those involved in peacemaking to offer insights and challenges; to inspire and equip us to invest our energies in the diligent pursuit of peace; and to enrich the ongoing work of the Center for Peace and Justice, both through contact with leading peacemakers and through greater public awareness of our programs.

The forum is named for John Woolman, an 18th-century American Quaker who called attention to the evils of slavery and challenged fellow Quakers to abandon the practice. Woolman also worked for fairer treatment of First Nations Indigenous Americans. In his journal, he recorded his developing opposition to war and other forms of violence and his struggles to purify his lifestyle from anything that might encourage or promote violence. His journal has become a devotional classic for its sensitive expression of the lifelong development of one person’ s conscience toward peace.

Recent Woolman Peacemaking Forum Information

Previous Woolman Forum Speakers

Previous speakers have included men and women with a wide variety of strengths and experiences. Among the previous speakers are:

  • David Augsburger
  • Landrum Bolling
  • Tony Campolo
  • Mark Hatfield
  • John Paul Lederach
  • Lisa Schirch
  • Ron Sider
  • Walter Wink
  • Tom Getman
  • Chip Zimmer
  • Elise Boulding
  • David Rawson
  • Tom & Christine Sine
  • Jim Wallis
  • Ron Kraybill

The Woolman Peacemaking Award is given annually to someone in the region who exemplifies peacemaking..

Beyond the Woolman Forum, peacemaking is featured at George Fox through multiple means that include: chapels, classes, student groups, various campus media and through special collections of peacemaking books, journals, videos, and other resources kept at the Center for Peace and Justice and in the university library.

Publications by John Woolman

Listed below is a collection of books and other publications by John Woolman, which includes his Journal, the only piece of Colonial American literature continuously in print since publication.

The Journal of John WoolmanThe Journal of John Woolman

[Originally Published in 1774 by Cruckshank]

John Greenleaf Whittier introduction ed. Published 1871

Some Considerations on the Keeping of Negroes - John WoolmanSome Considerations on the Keeping of Negroes

First part, published in 1754

Considerations on Keeping NegroesConsiderations on Keeping Negroes, Part Second

Published in 1762 (by Benjamin Franklin)

The Works of John Woolman in Two PartsThe Works of John Woolman in Two Parts
(includes the Journal of John Woolman)

Published in 1774 Joseph Cruckshank

Considerations on Pure Wisdom and Human Policy, on Labor, on Schools, and on the Right Use of the Lord's Outward GiftsConsiderations on Pure Wisdom and Human Policy, on Labor, on Schools, and on the Right Use of the Lord's Outward Gifts

Published in 1768

Considerations on the True Harmony of Mankind, and How it is to be MaintainedConsiderations on the True Harmony of Mankind, and How it is to be Maintained

Published in 1770

John Woolman - photo courtesy of tudo.co.uk

Photo courtesy of tudo.co.uk

"There is a principle which is pure, placed in the human mind; which in different places and ages hath had different names.  It is, however, pure, and proceeds from God.  It is deep and inward, confined to no forms of religion nor excluded from any, where the heart stands in perfect sincerity.  In whomsoever this takes root and grows, of what nation soever, they become brethren in the best sense of the expression."

- from, Some Considerations on the Keeping of Negroes, John Woolman (1720-1772)