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Skip to 0 minutes and 31 seconds If you think of the Quakers, it might bring to mind porridge oats or pacifism or perhaps prison reform. But through this online course, we’ll be finding out about what lies at the heart of Quaker beginnings, who its main characters were, and how in a few weeks during the summer of 1652, the Quaker movement was formed in the North of England. Almost from nothing, the Quakers were to become the most successful sect of the 1650s. And 1% of the population of England was to become a Quaker. It was a radical spirituality which appealed to thousands of people hungry for new ways of thinking.
Skip to 1 minute and 12 seconds In this three-week course, we’ll see how the events of 1652 unfolded and visit the key sites of Pendle Hill, Firbank Fell, and Swarthmoor Hall in the North West of England. Each of these places marks a critical piece of the dramatic story of May and June 1652. On Pendle Hill, George Fox, who will come to lead the movement, has a vision of a great people to be gathered. He finds and recruits hundreds, preaching on Firbank Fell a few weeks later. And in Ulverston, he meets Margaret Fell who, converted to the Quaker message, becomes a co-leader of the group and allows her home, Swarthmoor Hall, to become the headquarters of the new Quaker movement.
Skip to 1 minute and 57 seconds We also look at what happened next and the picture of Quakers around the world today. Each week contains films like this one, some accompanying reading of George Fox’s Journal, a focus on a key text from the period to help us better understand the experience and message of early Quakerism, and some reflection exercises and quizzes. I’m Ben Pink Dandelion, and I look after the Quaker Studies courses at Lancaster University. I’ll be joined on this course by experts in early Quakerism, Professor Hilary Hinds and Professor Angus Winchester of Lancaster University, . and Dr. Betty Hagglund and Stuart Masters of Woodbrooke Quaker Study Center in Birmingham.
Skip to 2 minutes and 38 seconds Together, we look forward to exploring with you the beginnings of Quakerism and this critical piece of religious history of a group who gathered around a radical and outspoken spiritual message that was to change the face of 1650s England, and has since remained a distinctive part of the religious landscape. [MONKS CHANTING]