Conclusion: singularity and doubleness

Hilary Hinds

in George Fox and Early Quaker Culture

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780719081576
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702383 | DOI:
Conclusion: singularity and doubleness

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This chapter summarises the preceding discussions and presents some concluding thoughts from the author. Quakerism was one answer to the pressure and uncertainty of the dominant predestinarian position on election and reprobation. Saint and sinner were unified, co-existing in the same human subject, as in more orthodox reformed interpretations, but, for Quakers, in a different configuration. Quakerism announced the reality of a single spiritual condition: the universally present inward light, available to all. The sharply bifurcated doubleness of the human condition (those who turned to, and those who refused so to turn) hereby revealed itself to be unreliable – itself evidence of human frailty and sin, in people's refusal to accept the unity with the divine and with humanity that was delivered by an indwelling Christ. Quakers reversed the Calvinist structural dynamic of spiritual subjectivity, perceiving duality to be definitive only of the fallen human state, which masked the greater reality, both actual and potential, of divine unity.

Keywords: Quakerism; inward light; spiritual condition; human condition; Christ; Calvinist structural dynamic

Chapter.  4380 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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