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Quaker Ways in Foreign Policy

Quaker Ways in Foreign Policy

Series: Heritage
Copyright Date: 1960
Pages: 230
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  • Book Info
    Quaker Ways in Foreign Policy
    Book Description:

    For three hundred years the Society of Friends, or Quakers, has been forwarding to governments recommendations on foreign policy. In this study, Dr. Byrd brings together and states carefully and accurately those beliefs, principles, attitudes, and practices which have been fundamental to the Quaker approach.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-3279-0
    Subjects: Religion, Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
    (pp. vii-x)
    Hans J. Morgenthau

    The conflict between the demands of Christian ethics and the way man must live is the overriding moral experience of Western civilization. That conflict is foreordained in the nature of Christian ethics and the nature of man. It is the very function of Christian ethics to call upon man to comply with a code of moral conduct with which, by virtue of his nature, he cannot comply. This function, it should be added in passing, is not only moral but also—and probably primarily—theological. For if that unbridgeable gap between the demands of Christian ethics and human nature did...

  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. xi-xii)
    (pp. xiii-xxii)

    For three hundred years the Society of Friends or “the Quakers,” as the group is more popularly known,¹ has been forwarding suggestions to governments about foreign policy. This study has been undertaken to delineate the character, pattern, and development of these suggestions.

    That there would be certain special problems associated with the endeavour was anticipated. A primary problem arises from the decentralization that is characteristic of the Society of Friends. The reasons for this will be discussed later, but the facts are that Friends’ views on foreign policy are not homogeneous and there is no organizational hierarchy to sift the...


    • CHAPTER ONE Some Essentials of Quakerism
      (pp. 3-16)

      The quakers are a “peculiar people” as they themselves have been inclined to observe. They are also a religious people and view their Society as a community of individuals participating in a religious movement.¹ Quakers are well known, perhaps best known, for their international activities, and their “peculiarities” are particularly evident in the international expression of their religious principles. Such expressions have sometimes led Friends actively to support aspects of the foreign policies of governments and there have been expressions resulting in close co-operation or even assistance in the implementation of official foreign policy. Characteristically, however, Friends have urged major...

    • CHAPTER TWO “That of God in Every Man”: General Implications
      (pp. 17-29)

      Among the implications attached to a belief that there is “that of God in every man” is the corollary that all men share and are thus equal in this common inheritance. Thus, the conception of the Inward Light leads to a belief that the fate of all men is inextricably interrelated; that, ultimately, no man is free so long as one person remains in bondage, that no man is secure so long as one man lives in fear, that no man is virtuous so long as one person is lacking in virtue, that no man is wealthy while another lives...

    • CHAPTER THREE When “That of God” Becomes Political
      (pp. 30-40)

      As just noted, Friends make no distinction between public affairs and private affairs. Patterns of value, responsibility, authority, and behaviour are the same in both areas. In public affairs no less than in private, it is a realization of “that of God within” which is both the source and the object of policy. In governmental affairs no less than in private, true policy consists in making explicit in particulars the Spirit which is implicit in all; policy is the precipitation of the spirit into political, social, and economic relationships. True policy results when it is the spirit of the Light...


    • CHAPTER FOUR Essential Concepts
      (pp. 43-64)

      We have noted that all life is of a piece to the Quakers. Fundamentally there is nothing singular about the relationships among the nations. The same principles are appropriate to the affairs of nations that are appropriate to individual relationships, and the relationships among individuals in their business, professional, religious, social, and recreational groups. The scope is wider in international than in domestic affairs, the number of people involved larger, but the patterns are the same and any differences are in degree only, not in kind. As noted in the 1945 edition of the London Yearly Meeting Discipline: “… we...

    • CHAPTER FIVE On Power (I)
      (pp. 65-85)

      Even the earliest friends recognized the fact of power in human relations and recognized its relevancy in international affairs. An entry in George Fox’sJournalfor the year 1651, for instance, notes Fox’s reply as he chose to remain in prison rather than accept a proffered captaincy in Cromwell’s army: “I told them I knew from whence all wars arose … and that I lived in the virtue of that life and power which took away the occasion of all wars.”¹ The American Friends Service Committee issued a pamphlet in 1947 in which the international situation was summarized thus: “The...

    • CHAPTER SIX On Power (II)
      (pp. 86-106)

      Fundamentally, power is based, for Friends, on the certainty that there is in all men a strain of goodness, the image of God, on which reliance can be placed and to which appeal can be made. This is no less true when men function in groups, as races and nations, than it is when men function as individuals. There is this something to which appeal can be made even in the most hardened of “opponents.” Power is generated when that of God in one person or one nation is “in phase” with that of God in another person or another...


    • CHAPTER SEVEN Winning the Right to Differ (1647-91)
      (pp. 109-115)

      The principles and patterns of the Quaker approach to foreign policy will take on more meaning if attention is directed toward the development of these principles and patterns over the three hundred years of Quaker history. It has been necessary to use a broad brush in outlining the development of Friends’ relationship to foreign policy; a more definitive study would be a volume in itself. It is hoped that this condensation will bring the pattern of development into sharper focus.

      Though there must always be an element of the arbitrary when history is divided into periods, the present theme has...

    • CHAPTER EIGHT The Protection and Enjoyment of Their Differences (1691-1775)
      (pp. 116-125)

      Two events of crucial importance in the history of Quakerism took place within two years of each other. The Act of Toleration was passed in 1689; George Fox died in 1691. These events help to mark the end of the period when Friends could be characterized by their revolutionary fervour and enthusiasm.¹ Friends were now “tolerated,” along with other Nonconformist groups, and Friends’ efforts were directed toward proving that they deserved this toleration, that they were good citizens in spite of their peculiar ways. The tenor of the new era finds a particularly clear expression in the Epistle of London...

    • CHAPTER NINE An Uneasiness That Something More is Needed (1775-1850)
      (pp. 126-133)

      There was no radical change in Friends’ outlook toward international relations in the years following 1775. Extant international policy was seen as characterized too much by man’s lust, greed, and sin, and the solution to lie in eventual Christianization. The emphasis was still on keeping the Society and individual Friends free of the taint of the world’s commotions in the hope that Friends could lead lives which would become a pattern and an inspiration to the rest of the world. In 1804 Friends were still being cautioned against making war the subject of their conversation,¹ and in 1813 there was...

    • CHAPTER TEN From the General to the Particular (1850-1914)
      (pp. 134-148)

      The years from 1850 until the outbreak of World War I may be characterized briefly as years during which Friends’ interest and involvement in the international scene became more inclusive. Matters which were but concerns of individual Friends in the previous period now became concerns of the Society as a whole, policy recommendations became more specific and positive as the period progressed, and standing committees were established for the first time to assist in the implementation of Friends’ international programmes.¹

      These developments reflected basic changes in the outlook of the Society; they marked a clear break with the Society’s quietism...

    • CHAPTER ELEVEN From Sins to Problems (1914-45)
      (pp. 149-180)

      There were no sharp breaks in Friends’ attitudes in the period beginning with World War I. Trends which had made their appearance by the late nineteenth century continued. They developed, however, at a quicker pace and brought Friends to new positions with respect to foreign policy.¹

      The first marked change was in Friends’ views concerning the nature of international relations. Though, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Friends had begun to move away from a negative, moralistic view, there was yet a strong admixture of negativism during World War I. Note the following, for instance, from the Epistle...

    • CHAPTER TWELVE From Observer to Participant (1945- )
      (pp. 181-192)

      Again, there appears to be no abrupt change between the Quakerism of the two world wars and contemporary Quakerism.¹ Friends’ relationship to foreign policy continues to be characterized by increased involvement, continuity, initiative, specificity, and emphasis on demonstration and pilot projects where feasible. However, though developments have been in the same direction, further mileposts have been reached.

      During the period of the two world wars, as noted previously, Friends moved closer to the centres of foreign policy formulation and, in some cases, became responsible for the implementation of public policy. Relief programmes under the American Relief Administration and responsibilities assumed...

    (pp. 195-206)

    This study was not undertaken with the intention of appraising, definitively, the correctness or the usefulness of the Quaker approach to foreign policy. It has been thought necessary first to describe and analyse what that approach is. Factors involved in determining whether the Quakers are “right” or “wrong” and the extent of their influence are in any case almost too fugitive for such precise measurement. Yet even a descriptive and analytical effort of the kind in hand ought to point to some general conclusions. As a minimum, note may be taken of the arguments which have been levelled against the...

    (pp. 209-210)
    (pp. 211-224)
  11. INDEX
    (pp. 225-230)