Friendly Witness: The Spiritual Ground of Quaker Social Action

A hybrid conference exploring what the contemplative religious tradition of Quakerism has to say about social action.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023
4 PM - 9 PM (ET) | Zoom and Onsite

Boston University School of Theology is the oldest theological seminary of American Methodism and the founding school of Boston University, the largest private research university in New England. 

Beacon Hill Friends House is a Quaker center for learning and action, and an intentional community in Downtown Boston. Founded in 1957, our mission is to embody the Quaker values of faith, simplicity, integrity, community, and social responsibility in order to nurture and call forth the Light in all of us.

CMM is the Greater Boston Area’s oldest interfaith social action network.  Founded in 1966, CMM works to mobilize congregations and communities across economic, religious, racial, and ethnic boundaries so that, in partnership, we can work more effectively for a just and peaceful society and for spiritual growth and interfaith understanding.

What is this conference?

What does the contemplative tradition of Quakerism have to offer the world in terms of social action? In this conference, exploring Friendly Witness, we will bring together a few Quaker scholars and practitioners to engage in conversation about this question. The conference will provide a collaborative academic-activist venue for people who are curious about Quaker theology to engage with scholars and practitioners about past influences and current concerns. 
Our speakers will explore the ways in which Quaker conceptions of Spirit, spiritual disciplines, and testimonies on peace, ecology, equality, and justice play out in lives and communities. 
Co-sponsored by Boston University School of Theology, Beacon Hill Friends House, and Cooperative Metropolitan Ministries, this conference is an academic and community partnership in understanding the implications of Quaker theology for practical action. 

The details

Who is invited: Everyone interested in exploring these questions! We encourage Quakers and non-Quakers alike to attend. 
Note that you can attend as much or as little as you’d like! 
Cost: This conference is free and open to the public
Location: Hybrid! 
  • The entire conference will be offered on Zoom 
  • The plenary presentation will be held at BU School of Theology (745 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA, Room 325) 
  • The panels will be offered at Beacon Hill Friends House (8 Chestnut Street,  Boston, MA 02108)

Plenary Presentation (4 PM ET):
An Ever-Branching River: The Beautiful Watersheds of Quaker Theology

Dr. Christy Randazzo

  • The plenary presentation will be held at BU School of Theology (745 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA, Room 325) 

Panels: 7 PM - 9 PM (ET)

  • The panels will be offered at Beacon Hill Friends House (8 Chestnut Street,  Boston, MA 02108)

Panel 1 | 7 - 8 PM
Schism, Sanctuary, & Transformation

Mystics and Evangelicals: The Theological Backstory to Recent Schisms in Quaker Churches

Dr. Stephen Angell

Leatherock professor of Quaker studies, Earlham School of Religion

Plenary Presentation (2)

James A. Corbett, Quaker Spirituality, and the Sanctuary Movement

Dr. Rady Roldan-Figueroa

Associate Professor of the History of Christianity, BU School of Theology 

MOHR Robin headshot 2023 - Robin Mohr

Becoming the Quakers the World Needs

Robin Mohr

Executive Secretary, Friends World Committee for Consultation Section of the Americas 

Panel 2 | 8 - 9 PM
Ecotheology, Social Action, & Imagination


Quakers and Eco-spirituality

Cherice Bock

Adjunct professor of ecotheology at Portland Seminary; leader of the Oregon Interfaith Power & Light at Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon 

Jen Newman

Listening to the still small voice: How Quakerism shows up in life and action at Beacon Hill Friends House

Jennifer Newman

Program Director, Beacon Hill Friends House 


Rufus Jones, Howard Thurman, and the Sin of Segregation

Dr. Welling Hall

Earlham Plowshares Professor of Peace Studies Emerita and BHFH Quaker Fellow

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