Chapter

<i>Quaker Attitudes and Practices</i>

Geoffrey Cantor

in Quakers, Jews, and Science

Published in print September 2005 | ISBN: 9780199276684
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603389 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199276684.003.0006
 Quaker Attitudes and Practices

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The early Quakers often saw their scientific endeavours pitted against those of the Anglican establishment. However, the doctrine of the ‘Inner Light’ also emphasised the importance of appreciating God’s creation, and a number of Quakers were drawn to observational sciences such as botany and astronomy, and often deployed design arguments. While accepting the need to frame hypotheses, they were suspicious of unbridled speculation and critical of theories that had hardened into dogmas. Indeed, Quaker views on scientific method parallel the Quaker emphasis on seeking in the realm of religion. Running through Quaker history, there is also a concern that enthusiasm for science can be detrimental to a person’s religious life.

Keywords: Quakers; Inner Light; design arguments; empiricism; observational sciences

Chapter.  10218 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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