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The Totalitarian Claim of the Gospels

By Dora Willson

Pendle Hill Pamphlet #4 (1939)

Price: $7.50


When reading Jesus’ teachings one should clear the mind of preconceptions and the interpretations of modern psychologies, then concentrate on the Gospels’ application to practical living.

About the Author(s)

Dora Willson (1900-1953) enriched the spiritual life of Pendle Hill during her brief time among Friends. She grew up in England and Switzerland, following her father’s assignments as an Anglican minister. After studying at the University of Geneva, she became a social worker, later spending a year assisting the Swiss psychologist Dr. Claparede in Egypt.

She met her future husband, Robert Z. Willson at Fellowship of Reconciliation gatherings in England and France. After their marriage, they moved to the United States and studied in the first class at Pendle Hill, in 1930. In 1938 she started teaching the gospels at Pendle Hill; she also taught for a semester at Swarthmore College.

While she taught the gospels, Dora never forgot her background in psychology, helping to start the Friend Conference on Religion and Psychology. She chaired that conference from 1950 until her death. Her approach to teaching included fostering discussion and listening carefully. Because of this, her students approached her as much for personal counseling as for insight into the gospels.

Dora Willson struggled with leukemia during the early nineteen fifties and died in 1953.

Pendle Hill Pamphlet #4

Additional information

Weight 2.3 oz