Presenting the work of Quaker atheists, agnostics, humanists, and others who practice Quakerism without supernatural beliefs

Godless for God’s Sake: Nontheism in Contemporary Quakerism


In this book edited by British Friend and author David Boulton, 27 Quakers from 4 countries and 13 yearly meetings tell how they combine active and committed membership in the Religious Society of Friends with rejection of traditional belief in the existence of a transcendent, personal and supernatural God.

For some, God is no more (but no less) than a symbol of the wholly human values of “mercy, pity, peace and love”. For others, the very idea of God has become an archaism.

Readers who seek a faith free of supernaturalism, whether they are Friends, members of other religious traditions or drop-outs from old-time religion, will find good company among those whose search for an authentic 21st century understanding of religion and spirituality has led them to declare themselves “Godless – for God’s Sake”.


Preface: In the Beginning…

1. For God’s Sake? An Introduction


David Boulton

2. What’s a Nice Nontheist Like You Doing Here?


Robin Alpern

3. Something to Declare


Philip Gross

4. It’s All in the Numbers

Joan D Lucas

5. Chanticleer’s Call: Religion as a Naturalist Views It

Os Cresson

6. Mystery: It’s What we Don’t Know

James T Dooley Riemermann

7. Living the Questions

Sandy Parker

8. Listening to the Kingdom

Bowen Alpern

9. The Making of a Quaker Nontheist Tradition

David Boulton and Os Cresson

10. Facts and Figures

David Rush

11. This is my Story, This is my Song…

  • Beth Wray
  • Carolyn Nicholson Terrell
  • Tim Miles
  • Anne Filiaci
  • David B Lawrence
  • Joanna Dales
  • Jo Schlesinger
  • Kitty Rush
  • Miriam Branson
  • Gudde (Gudrun) Moller
  • Hubert J Morel-Seytoux
  • Jeanne Warren
  • Marian Kaplun Shapiro
  • Wilmer Stratton
  • David E Drake
  • David Rush
  • Anita Bower
  • Lincoln Alpern
  • Elaine Ruscetta


Ordering Info

Links to forms for ordering online will be provided here as soon as they are available. In the meantime, contact the organizations listed below, using the book details at the bottom of this page.

QuakerBooks of Friends General Conference

(formerly FGC Bookstore)

1216 Arch St., Ste 2B

Philadelphia, PA 19107

215-561-1700 fax 215-561-0759

(this is the “Universalism” section of Quakerbooks, where the book is currently located)

(this is the “Universalism” section of Quakerbooks, where the book is currently located)



Quaker Bookshop

173 Euston Rd London NW1 2BJ

020 7663 1030, fax 020 7663 1008


Those outside the United Kingdom and United States should be able to order through a local bookshop, quoting the publishing details below – particularly the ISBN number. In case of difficulty, the book can be ordered direct from the publisher’s address below.

Title: “Godless for God’s Sake: Nontheism in Contemporary Quakerism” (ed. David Boulton)

Publisher: Dales Historical Monographs, Hobsons Farm, Dent, Cumbria LA10 5RF, UK. Tel 015396 25321. Email

Retail price: ?9.50 ($18.50). Prices elsewhere to be calculated on UK price plus postage.

Format: Paperback, full colour cover, 152 pages, A5

ISBN number: 0-9511578-6-8 (to be quoted when ordering from any bookshop in the world)


One response to “Godless for God’s Sake: Nontheism in Contemporary Quakerism”

  1. James,

    I’m reading through the book. Loving it so far. I’m curious – is there a more active place online where non-theist Quakers are having discussions? Facebook, etc..? I’ve got some angst re: yearly meeting that I’d like to discuss, but feel it’s best not to discuss within the FB page of my local meeting.

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