Quaker Peace Testimony and Pacifism
McKeogh, C. (2017). Quaker Peace Testimony and Pacifism. Presented at the 67th Political Studies Association Annual Conference, 10 – 12 April 2017, Glasgow, United Kingdom.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/11027
This paper looks at the Peace Testimony of Quakers (the Religious Society of Friends) and argues that, although Quakerism is commonly seen as pacifist (in some sense of that term) by many both within and without the Society, the Peace Testimony is best seen as not pacifist. The paper argues that the Peace Testimony grows from the Society’s spirituality and its commitment to corporate spiritual guidance and witness, as such, it is not reconcilable with the ethical absolutism that is pacifism (as often defined). The Quaker commitment to social justice means that outcomes matter, human well-being is very important, and circumstances must be taken into account in determining policy and behaviour. The paper concludes that, at a time of great change in armed conflict, Quakers must engage to make a detailed contribution to the emerging rules of restraint.
© 2017 copyright with the author.