After a personal crisis shook his confidence in himself, Ben Pink Dandelion considered seriously the spiritual meaning of “confidence” (literally, to live and act “with faith”). His reflections led him to delve more deeply into early Friends’ understandings about spiritual growth and religious development, and to apply those principles to the community of Friends as we practice our faith today. His insights are especially meaningful for liberal Friends, individually and as a society, as we look toward the future.
About the Author(s)
Ben Pink Dandelion came to Friends in the mid-1980s. Since 2001, he has worshiped with Sawley Friends in the north of England, close to Pendle Hill (the English one). He has worked for London Yearly Meeting and since 1995 at Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre. He currently directs the work of the Centre for Postgraduate Quaker Studies and is Professor of Quaker Studies at the University of Birmingham. He has written numerous books on Quakerism. His academic texts include The Liturgies of Quakerism (Ashgate, 2005) and Introduction to Quakerism (Cambridge University Press, 2007) and The Quakers: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2008). More devotional work includes the recent Celebrating the Quaker Way (Quaker Books, 2009). This essay is based on his talk “Quaking with Confidence,” presented to the Friends General Conference Gathering in June 2009, and a subsequent presentation in November 2009 at Pendle Hill (USA).
Pendle Hill Pamphlet #410