Quakers and Sustainability

About what Quakerism as a way of life and movement can contribute to transition through social turbulence created by energy scarcity, climate change, and social injustice.


Parallels with 1650s and today: Quakers awake!

North America is probably on the cusp of declining oil production, socalled PeakOil.
Get your head around the implications of this, and you in for a doozy of a headache, not to mention depression, anxiety, etc. Very analogus IMO to mid 17th century England when Quakers took root. Civil war, inflation, crop failures, drought, etc according to Larry Ingle's biography of Fox, were the socio-economic context of Quakerism. I take that this way: Fox's message was particularly consoling to the marginalized and exploited of his day, eg the baptists in the army where he recruited a lot, because conditions made them ready to listen.

Also, fast forward to the next century, Quaker shopkeepers and bankers made a name for themselves because of their strict honesty, (or so we are led to believe, and I do). That quality too will be immensely important in a world heading towards major turmoil, if petro-energy is indeed heading into decline.

And then in the 1960s in Canada, we had a great influx of US Quakers, who came as conscientious objectors and revitalized Canadian Yearly Meeting.

I think a good case could be made that external events make people sit up and take notice. When they did, the noticed Quakers.

We have something to do.

It's not about finding the Quakers among us, it just might be about providing the sustainability infrastructure, neighbourliness, spiritual respites that will be called for, as models and templates, at least.

Localisation is the opposite of globalisation. check out just two websites for background on what this kind of outreach might look like:
http://www.i4at.org/ and http://www.willitseconomiclocalization.org/

A more general list includes
http://solari.com/campaign/index.htm (Excellent for including faith, food, finance)

What are your comments?



At 10:39 AM, Blogger Ian Graham said...

In Dec 2005 I started this blog, and wrote "Civil war, inflation, crop failures, drought, etc according to Larry Ingle's biography of Fox, were the socio-economic context of Quakerism."
Wow, now almost 3 years later, we are at a turning point that could be quite the same, (minus the civil war part, which I don't see coming. However 25% unemployment could lead to what looks like civil war!).

Today I don't see the quakerly presence in the parts of Canada where we have a meeting or worship group as likely making a ripple in the surface of society's pond.


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