I will be leading an online book discussion on John Woolman’s Journal this winter. Woolman was an eighteenth-century Quaker who was part of a movement to abolish human enslavement in colonial America. He was also a critic of British imperialism, consumerism, and the abuse of American Indians. We will read two chapters a week across six weeks. I’ll provide some essays to enhance the readings, as well as two podcasts and a final Q&A webinar at the end.
I find Woolman to be an inspiring and challenging figure. Some of my work on Woolman is available around the web:
- A sermon on Woolman’s testimony: “On Mercy, Commitment, and Being Right: John Woolman’s Way of Prophetic Non-Attachment”
- An electronic version of my book, “To Renew the Covenant”: Religious Themes in Eighteenth-Century Quaker Abolitionism, is available for free online. Chapter four discusses John Woolman’s contribution to Quaker antislavery efforts.
- If you are really brave/ambitious my Ph.D. thesis on Woolman is available for download.
- “Mysticism and Revelation in John Woolman’s Theology,” Quaker Religious Thought, 125, October 2015, pp. 34-42.
- “’A More Lively Feeling’: The Correspondence and Integration of Mystical and Spatial Dynamics in John Woolman’s Travels,” Quaker Studies, 20, September 2015, pp. 103-116.
- “The (Com)Motion of Love: Theological Formation in John Woolman’s Itinerant Ministry,” Quaker Religious Thought: Vol. 116 , Article 3.
- “The Valiant Sixty-First? John Woolman’s (1720-1772) Apocalyptic Eschatology and the Restoration of the Lamb’s War,” Quaker Studies, September 2013, pp. 23-49.
- A series of older blog posts on John Woolman.
- Here is a public domain version of Woolman’s Journal at Project Gutenburg. The text of the journal does not actually start until page 18.