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


  • A Different Understanding of Scripture

    My friend Nat Case, from my own Twin Cities Friends Meeting, has a blog I hadn’t paid much attention to until a month or two ago. I don’t know how much of my inattention is because I hadn’t noticed how smartly provocative his writing is, and how much is because, as a cartographer, he’s been writing less for a mapmaking audience lately, and more for Quakers and other people who question the meaning of religion. People like me. This post expands on a brief comment I made on his post Fragments of a Religion That Never Existed, where Nat writes in part:

    “What I’m interested in here is the idea of scripture not defined by its innate qualities (e.g. dictated by God), but by its functional qualities. What does scripture do? I find scripture-as-community-glue interesting, but my sympathies lie with scriptures-taken-to-heart. I do have a series of books, passages from books, poems, some formal religious texts, ballads, and films that form what I believe is similar to the sort of scripture-taken-to-heart that orthodox folk might have. Except I do not have a community that draws from the same set of texts.”
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  • One God at Most, or Two Gods at Least?

    If I am to speak of God at all, even metaphorically, I find I must speak of two gods. This may be the reason I tend not to speak of God. Both gods speak to me as metaphors, but I have difficulty calling them by the same name. It is not the world that my […] Continue reading

  • A liberal Quaker rant against conservative-leaning liberal Quakerism

    I’ve been bouncing around the world of Quaker blogs, as I sometimes do, and once again, I find that world filled with Friends who are disappointed with the liberalism of liberal Quakerism, who want it to become more conservative, which is mostly to say more narrowly defined and exclusive. Of course, they don’t want it […] Continue reading

  • Only Human

    In the summer of 1991, at the Sea of Faith conference in Leicester, two intellectual bruisers debated religion and humanism. One was Nicolas Walter: anarchist, peace activist and passionate rationalist. The other was Don Cupitt: elegant, Cambridge, deanish and donnish. Their debate was not the familiar one which had raged for a century, between humanism and Christianity. What was at issue was not humanism but the kind of humanism which might speak to the condition of a postmodern world at the scruff-end of two Christian millennia. Continue reading