The Peace Testimony and the World Wars
This class will attempt to provide a quick introduction to Quaker beliefs related to the peace testimony. It will use the world wars as case studies in order to get participants to talk about what value the peace testimony has had and continues to have in our lives. The historical basis of the course is also intended to provide a sense of heritage and continuity with past Quakers.
Brief History of Quakerism — Isaac May
History of Quakers in World War I — Mimi Schultz
History of Quakers in World War II — Isaac May
Small Group Discussion
Whole Group Reflections & Closing
- A Brief History of Conscientious Objection in America, from the “Conscientious Objection in America” website, hosted by Swarthmore College
- Quakers in Germany during and after the World Wars, 2010 Friends Journal article by Hans Mielke, translated from a longer German language article “God is Within You.”
- The Politics of Despair: The Quaker Peace Testimony, an article by Quaker Historian, Larry Ingle, about the origins and theology of the peace testimony.
- The Renewal Movement: The Peace Testimony & Modern Quakerism, an article by Allen Smith on the changing nature of the modern peace testimony, first published in “Quaker History,” vol 85 #2, Fall 1996.
For our discussion time, we will be reading the following but anyone is welcome to read them beforehand as well:
- Harry Wright-Johnson’s interview on being a conscientious objector
- Questions asked to consider conscientious objection — Britain Yearly Meeting
- “…A True Friend in a Totalitarian State,” — Nora Waln’s Reflections on the Nazi’s
- “The Testimony,” — Britain Yearly Meetings WWI Centennial newspaper