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Title: From revelation to resource : the natural world in the thought and experience of Quakers in Britain and Ireland, 1647-1830
Author: Morries, Geoffrey Peter
ISNI:       0000 0004 2684 6709
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis explores the place of the natural world in the spiritual and intellectual lives of British and Irish Quakers (Friends) from the earliest evidence in 1647 up to the rise of evangelical Quakerism around 1830. Whilst Quakers agreed that God had made and continued to uphold the creation, responses to the natural world were, after the Restoration, essentially individualistic, giving rise to diverse views of its place in theology. Overall, it is shown that there was a shift away from the unity of the first Quakers’ experience that both God and the creation could be truly known only through divine revelation, towards support for the scientific study of the material world, and forms of natural theology. It is argued that this was the result of personal experience, not of synergies between empiricism and orthodox Quaker theology. Although reservations about its status continued, for an increasing number of Quakers, nature was a resource in a divinely-inspired search for order and truth. Although the subject is almost absent from contemporary official records of the Society of Friends, the natural world became a significant part of the wider Quaker culture of the 19th century.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BL Religion ; BX Christian Denominations