Friends & Watershed Discipleship: reconciling with people and the land in light of the Doctrine of Discovery

On Saturday, November 23, 2019, I got to share my paper, “Friends & Watershed Discipleship: reconciling with people and the land in light of the Doctrine of Discovery,” with the Quaker Studies Unit and Pentecostal & Charistmatic Movements Unit at the American Academy of Religion conference in San Diego, CA. Here’s the abstract, and you can listen to the audio below.


While the papal bulls making up the Doctrine of Discovery were issued some 200 years before the formation of the Religious Society of Friends, these decrees formed the legal basis for colonization of any lands not held by Christians, and for slave trafficking. British and American Quakers eventually stood against the practice of slavery, but still benefitted from colonialism. Later, Friends missions in Latin America and Africa followed colonial patterns.

For Friends from the United States, what is our role in moving toward reconciliation and healing of the broken relationships with land, people, and other creatures?

This paper constructs a global Quaker ecotheology by connecting the concept of watershed discipleship to Friends theology, taking seriously the need for repentance, and decolonizing Western Quaker thought and practice toward a postcolonial expression of faith, working toward loving reconciliation with God, people, and land by inhabiting our place within the community of creation.


(Please excuse the sound quality—I recorded it with my phone at the podium so there’s quite a bit of paper shuffling sound.)

If you would like a full text copy of the paper, let me know and I can send it to you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: