The NFN July Newsletter (4 August 2018), which NFN members and others on our mailing list should have received by email a few days ago, has been uploaded to the website today. (See Newsletters under Articles).
The Newsletter has numerous interesting articles and reviews and includes a questionnaire which aims to compare “the viewpoints of different people who attend Quaker meetings and their attitudes towards religion and spirituality“.
Anyone attending any Quaker meeting is invited to complete the questionnaire (ignoring question 5 if appropriate) and send it to Patrick Cremona at the email address given. The article and questionnaire from the Newsletter are reproduced in full here:
Research questions for nontheist Friends
Patrick Cremona, currently finishing a masters in Magazine Journalism at Cardiff University, has written to seek our help in answering questions about aspects of our Quakerism. He writes:
“The piece that I am currently working on is part of a series of articles exploring spirituality in the twenty-first century, which will form my major project for my masters, and will also hopefully be pitched to other outlets once it is finished. This idea for this particular feature was inspired by both the Simon Jenkins article you linked [on the NFN website]and a conversation with a (non-religious) friend of mine who has recently started attending Quaker meetings. Its aim is to explore ideas of religion, theism and spirituality, and the differences between them, with specific reference to Quaker meetings. While I found the aforementioned Jenkins article interesting, it didn’t include quotes from Quakers and this is where my article would differ. Rather than being an opinion piece, I would be looking at comparing the viewpoints of different people who attend Quaker meetings and their attitudes towards religion and spirituality… I aim to conduct thorough research on the topic, and I am planning on attending a Quaker meeting in Cardiff in the near future.”
Patrick has sent us a questionnaire and readers are invited to respond to him via <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
- How long have you been attending Quaker meetings?
- What were your original reasons for attending, and what were your views about theism at the time?
- To you personally, what are the differences between religion, theism and spirituality?
- Have your views regarding religion, spirituality and theism changed over time?
- Why did you join the Non-theist Friend network? Has doing so enhanced your experience as a Quaker?
- Have you noticed a general trend towards a more non-theist approach amongst Friends in general?
- In a world where traditional religion is continuing to steadily decline, in what ways do Quaker meetings offer an alternative form of worship?
- Although religion has been declining, spiritual activities and mindfulness practices are in vogue. Do you think a less rigid form of spirituality can replace more structured, organised religion in the twenty-first century, and what are the advantages of this?
- What would you say to someone with no religious beliefs who was interested in attending Quaker meetings?