The Wisdom of Quaker Journals


This workshop will examine the late-seventeenth through eighteenth century Quaker tradition of writing journals and memoirs as a way to educate and inspire. Quaker journals conformed to a prescribed format that described the work of God in a person's life. This genre of literature differs from the purposes of contemporary memoirs or autobiographies, and, so, cannot be read with the same expectations. This workshop will describe the genre of Quaker journaling and how the journalists sought to apply their inner leadings to their outward affairs. Given time, this workshop will provide space for small group readings of selections from journalists like Elizabeth Stirredge, John Woolman, John Churchman, Daniel Stanton, and Benjamin Boen.

Jon Kershner is Lecturer in Theology and the History of Christianity at Pacific Lutheran University and Honorary Researcher in Quaker Studies at Lancaster University (UK). He is the author of John Woolman and the Government of Christ: A Colonial Quaker's Vision for the British Atlantic World (Oxford University Press, 2018). He is a member of North Seattle Friends Church.