A Quaker Ecology: Meditations on the Future of Friends

Based on Bible half-hour lectures at New England Yearly Meeting Annual sessions, 2020

In our best moments, Friends have been in the middle of the action around the social justice issues of each time period, discerning to the best of their abilities the direction the Inward Light leads and speaking truth to power. In our own time, climate justice can no longer be ignored if we want to have a healthy planet to live on and if we want to participate in the heart of the justice movements of the twenty-first century.

To work on climate justice requires Quakers in the United States to revisit the practices and history of the Religious Society of Friends, recognizing the ways we have been complicit in unjust land acquisition, natural resource depletion, the intersecting injustices surrounding environmental racism, classism, and gender disparities, and the impacts of globalization.

This book offers a series of meditations on the Quaker ecology, both internally in our denomination as well as in our connections to the world around us. It forms an invitation to participate in an Eco-Reformation, altering the trajectory of our Society through re-membering our history and reimagining our future as participants in the community of all life. Available in print or digital formats.

  1. Twenty-First Century Quaker Faithfulness: An Eco-Reformation
  2. Incarnation and a Quaker Ecotheology of Light
  3. Watershed Discipleship: Repentance, Re-membering, and Reinhabiting
  4. “I Can’t Breathe”: Ruach, a Pandemic, and Environmental Justice
  5. A Quaker Ecology: Our Bodies as Fractals of Hope

Quakers, Creation Care, & Sustainability

Volume 6, Quakers & the Disciplines Series
Co-editors: Cherice Bock & Stephen Potthoff

In this unprecedented gathering of essays on ecology, creation care, and sustainability, over two dozen Quaker authors and scholars address some of the most pressing concerns of our day. Beginning with Quaker themes historically, essays also move toward developing a Quaker ecotheology, discuss Quaker approaches to the environment within academic disciplines, and share stories of sustainability—both individually and organizationally. As a disciplinary contribution to the world from the Friends Association for Higher Education, this book not only reports on ecotheology in action, it also contributes to its furtherance with the discussion questions at the end of each section and an expansive bibliography. An excellent resource for study groups or the classroom, readers concerned about the environment, climate change, and the role of people of faith in caring for the planet will find this volume a must-read. Available in print and e-book formats.

Critical Acclaim for this Volume:

“This is the richest resource on Quakerism and Creation Care to date! Rooted in deep spirituality and practical experience, the chapters canvas the topic from history to theology, from academics to activism. I have never seen the case for a distinctively Quaker call to stewardship presented with this breadth and force before.”

Philip Clayton, Ingram Professor of Theology at the Claremont School of Theology and author of Adventures in the Spirit

“On page two of George Fox’s Journal, he talked about the three great loves of our religion: love of God, love of neighbor, and love of God’s good earth. This remarkable collection speaks to all three loves in the Quaker past, present, and future. I was inspired and moved by the insights, wisdom, and faithfulness evidenced in this book.”

Steve Chase, Manager of Academic Initiatives at the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict and author of Letters to a Fellow Seeker

Purchase this volume on Amazon. Download the full text of the Introduction.

Press about this volume:

Part I: Ecological Themes in Quaker History

  1. “Do What You Do in the Wisdom of God”: Theological Resources for Quaker Ecological Action in the Writings of George Fox, Rebecca Artinian-Kaiser and Cherice Bock
  2. John Woolman’s Environmental Consciousness, Mike Heller
  3. Quakers and Quaker Farmers in the Colonial and Early Republic Era and the Development of Two Views of Nature, Douglas J. Burks
  4. Ruth Stout, the Queen of Mulch, Jean Mulhern and Cathy Pitzer

Part II: Developing a Quaker Ecotheology

  1. Quakers & Creation Care: Potentials and Pitfalls for an Ecotheology of Friends, Cherice Bock
  2. “The Divine Light of Creation”: Liberal Quaker Metaphors of Divine/Creation Interdependence, Christy Randazzo
  3. Woolman and Wilderness: A Quaker Sacramental Ecology, Jon R. Kershner
  4. Maragoli Shamanism Marries Quaker Christianity, S. Chagala Ngesa
  5. Process Metaphysics for Ecological Survival: Alfred North Whitehead in Conversation with Friends, Lonnie Valentine
  6. Quaker Ecological Foundations and the Universe Story, Laurel Kearns

Part III: Quaker Approaches to the Environment in the Academic Disciplines

  1. A Quaker Educator in Dialogue with Teilhard on the Universe Story, Stephen Potthoff
  2. Reclaiming Natural History: Quakers, Nature, and Education, James W. Hood
  3. Ecotone: Quakerism, Sustainability, Art, and the Boundaries Between, Craig Goodworth with Cherice Bock
  4. How are We to Live? A Quaker Approach to Environmental Ethics and Economics, Robert Howell
  5. Seeking Truth in History and Pedagogy: ReMembering and Decolonizing are Crucial for Sustainability, Sara Jolena Wolcott
  6. Nuclear Power from a Quaker Physicist’s Perspective, Donald A. Smith
  7. The Sustainable Food Systems Major at Guilford College: Food, Environment, and Community, Kyle Dell, Marlene McCauley, and Gail Webster

Part IV: Stories of Sustainability: Individuals and Organizations Living Quaker Ecotheology in Action

  1. Earthcare as a Quaker Value: The Formation and Continued Work of Quaker Earthcare Witness, Shelley Tanenbaum
  2. Earth Quaker Action Team: Reclaiming the Lamb’s War for Justice and Sustainability in the Twenty-First Century, Walter Hjelt Sullivan
  3. Collective Discernment at Quaker Institute for the Future, Judy Lumb
  4. How Aotearoa New Zealand Quakers Care for the Planet, Robert Howell
  5. The Building of a Collective Conviction among Quakers Around Sustainability: Friends World Committee for Consultation, Susanna Mattingly
  6. Practicing Quaker Stewardship: One Student’s Experience Implementing Recycling and Food Waste Reduction Programs at Wilmington College, April Mays
  7. Lobbying for an Earth Restored: Friends Committee on National Legislation, Emily Wirzba and Emmett Witkovsky-Eldred


  1. “Toward a Testimony on Conscious Stewardship,” Palo Alto (California) Friends Meeting, USA, 1984
  2. “Environment and Sustainability Minute,” Friends World Committee for Consultation, 22nd FWCC Triennial in Dublin, Ireland, 2007
  3. The Purpose of Quaker Earthcare Witness
  4. Quaker Earthcare Vision and Witness
  5. “Minute on Nuclear Power,” Quaker Earthcare Witness, Burlington, Vermont, USA, 2007
  6. “The Kabarak Call for Peace and Ecojustice,” Friends World Committee for Consultation, Sixth World Conference of Friends at Kabarak University near Nakuru, Kenya, 2012
  7. “Statement on the Doctrine of Discovery,” Quaker Earthcare Witness, 2012
  8. “Facing the Challenge of Climate Change: A shared statement by Quaker groups,” Quaker United Nations Office, Quaker Earthcare Witness, and Friends Committee on National Legislation, 2015
  9. “Living Sustainably and Sustaining Life on Earth — The Minute from the Plenary,” Friends World Committee for Consultation, World Plenary Meeting of Friends, Pisac, Perú, 2016
  10. Resources Relating to Friends and Environmental Concerns on the Web
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