As a non-credal religious body, the Religious Society of Friends has long been known to others primarily for its outward activities or testimonies. This pamphlet explores some historic and more recent roles played by testimonies in the Religious Society of Friends: What is a Quaker testimony? How have Quaker testimonies originated, changed over time, and – in some cases – disappeared? What roles have the testimonies played in the life of our Society? And what role do they play – or might they play – in our own spiritual lives?
The first half of the pamphlet focuses on Quaker witness in the Society’s first two hundred years. The second half traces the emergence and development of testimonies since the 1940s – particularly the designation of SPICES (simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and stewardship or sustainability) as “the Quaker testimonies” – and the dangers this poses to Quakerism. Discussion questions are included.
Pendle Hill Pamphlet #481