One Quaker’s Perspective on Modernism vs. Fundamentalism (part 1 of 4)

My next few blog posts are going to be about a discussion point that I am seeing in Evangelical Quaker circles. I have to admit that hearing Friends discuss fundamentalism vs. modernism makes me a bit uneasy. While part of this is my own desire to not be categorized, I feel as though we are being forced into molds that don’t necessarily reflect our core values and understandings.

My sense is that none of us truly fit these categories, but we don’t necessarily have language to talk about what specifically we struggle with. I hope that over the next month I am able to help articulate more than just my own struggle and would love to get feedback on whether any of the spaghetti I am about to throw on the wall is sticking.

There are three specific areas I feel the need to explore as I wrestle:

  • Next week I will look at how fundamentalism and modernism are both rooted in the same basic assumptions of “Enlightenment Thought”.
  • In two weeks I will look at how both modernism and fundamentalism have changed from their origins and how those changes impact current Friends.
  • In three weeks I will attempt to refute the idea that these two categories are the only existing choices for Friends. (Which seems to be the point of the discussions I am hearing.)

Hopefully I can serve all of us as we try to live up to the measure of light with which we have been entrusted.

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One Quaker’s Perspective on Modernism vs. Fundamentalism (part 1 of 4) by Gilbert George is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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2 responses to “One Quaker’s Perspective on Modernism vs. Fundamentalism (part 1 of 4)

  1. When you say “Modernism” do you include Liberal Quakerism, as in the UK now?

    • I am going to develop that a bit more over the next couple weeks. I am referring more generally to the way American Evangelical Quakers are using the word “Modernism” which probably includes Liberal Quakerism. I am not necessarily interested in applying labels, but am much more interested in stepping away from mechanistic categorization.

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