Meet the team
Read about the course tutors and contributors and then tell us a bit about yourself.
What is your background? Why have you enrolled on this course? What do you hope to discover from participating here? Write as much as you feel necessary. There are thousands of people participating in this course who may be able to help you on your personal learning journey, or following a similar knowledge-pathway.
Ben Pink Dandelion - Lead Educator
Ben directs the work of the Centre for Research in Quaker Studies at Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre and is Professor of Quaker Studies at Birmingham University. He directs the Quaker studies courses at Lancaster University. He has written and edited numerous volumes on Quaker history, theology and sociology, and also written more devotional books for Quakers as well. His recent publications include The Cambridge Companion to Quaker Studies (forthcoming), Early Quakers and their Theological Thought (CUP 2015), The Oxford Handbook of Quaker Studies (OUP 2013), all co-edited with Stephen Angell, and Making our Connections; the spirituality of travel (SCM 2013). Ben lives near Pendle Hill.
Betty works for the Centre for Research in Quaker Studies at Woodbrooke and is a Research fellow at Lancaster University. Betty’s current research interests are in Quaker women’s lives and writings, travel writing, seventeenth and eighteenth century print culture, and in the relationships between Quakers and other religious groups. She is the author of Tourists and Travellers: Women’s Non-fictional Writing about Scotland, 1770-1830 (Channel View Publications, 2010) and has edited scholarly editions of the travel writings of Maria Graham, Harriet Morton and Catherine Hutton.
She has published her research in journals such as Quaker Studies, Studies in Travel Writing, Women’s Writing, Journal of Literature and Science and Journal for Eighteenth-century Studies, and has written essays for the Ashgate Research Companion to Travel Writing, Travel Writing Keywords, Early Quakers and their Theology, Foreign Correspondences, Women in Eighteenth-Century Scotland: Intimate, Intellectual and Public Lives, Oxford Handbook of Quaker Studies, and Travel Writing (Critical Concepts in Literary and Cultural Studies).
With Rebecca Wynter she curated an exhibition at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery on Quakers and the First World War in 2015. She is also the author of books aimed at a general audience including Epic Treks (2011) and (with others) the Illustrated Atlas of Exploration (2011). Betty is currently working on a book on the ways in which Quakers responded to the return of the Jews to England in the seventeenth century and is also editing The Life of Mrs Sherwood (1775-1851) which will be published by Routledge in 2018.
Hilary’s main area of interest is in early Quaker writing, particularly that of George Fox, on the one hand, and of early Quaker women, on the other. She has published two books: God’s Englishwomen: Seventeenth-Century Radical Sectarian Writing and Feminist Criticism (Manchester University Press, 1996), and George Fox and Early Quaker Culture (Manchester University Press, 2011). She has also published a number of articles on Quaker writing in journals such as Quaker Studies, Literature and History, and ELH. She is contributing a chapter on an early pamphlet by Sarah Jones to a forthcoming volume: New Critical Studies on Quaker Women: 1650-1800, edited by Catie Gill and Michele Lise Tarter.
Stuart is a tutor at Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre where he coordinates the onsite short course programme. His research and teaching interests focus on Quaker history, theology, and spirituality. He is particularly interested in the early Quaker vision as a radically Christ-centered and universalist faith and practice. This has led him to consider the connections between Quakerism and other faiths, including the Jewish, Eastern Orthodox, Anabaptist and Wesleyan traditions. Stuart is also interested in Eco-Spirituality, Liberation Theologies and the thought of Rene Girard. He is a blogger who regularly contributes essays, articles and book reviews to Quaker publications such as The Friend, The Friends Quarterly and Quaker Studies.
Angus is a local and regional historian with particular interests in the history of upland landscapes. Until recently he directed the Regional Heritage Centre in the Department of History at Lancaster University. His research interests centre on the history of Cumbria, out of which arose research into socio-economic aspects of Quakerism, particularly in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. He has edited the diary of an eighteenth-century Cumbrian Quaker yeoman, The Diary of Isaac Fletcher of Underwood, Cumberland, 1756-1781 (1994), and has written on the interplay between travel in the ministry, trans-Atlantic mercantile links and migration. He knows the ‘1652 Country’ well and has led many Quaker group visits to the area, serving as clerk of the North West 1652 Committee and as a member of the committee overseeing the work of Swarthmoor Hall for Britain Yearly Meeting.
Sarah is an early-modern historian whose specialist interests range widely, but tend to gravitate towards the seventeenth century. She began her research career with an interest in the civil wars across Britain and Ireland in the 1640s and 1650, and in particular, the relationship between Britain and Ireland, the development of republicanism and ideas of liberty. She published two major works in this field - Regicide and Republicanism and A Revolutionary Rogue, a biography of republican Henry Marten - along with a number of articles, and was part of the movement exploring the interplay of multiple kingdoms, editing Conquest and Union: Fashioning a British State. More recently, she has been developing ideas across the Atlantic and exploring plantation in an English, Irish, American and Caribbean context, and in 2014 published The Disputation Caribbean: The West Indies in the seventeenth Century. The Quakers played an important role in the early British presence in the Caribbean.
Rhiannon’s research has focused on uses of religious language and changes in practice among Quakers. She completed her PhD, which used ideas from Wittgenstein to explore how Quakers do – and don’t – talk about God, in 2014. A summary article based on this was published in Quaker Studies. Since then, she has worked on research about threshing meetings, the legacies of the 1918 document Foundations of a True Social Order, and ‘afterwords’, a recent development in British Quaker worship. Her approach is interdisciplinary, spanning philosophy, sociology, theology, and religious studies. She is especially interested in how religious communities change and interact, and her non-Quaker academic work includes studies of Jewish and Christian feminism, multiple religious belonging, fan cultures and the sacred, and pop culture and philosophy. She is now Deputy Programmes Leader at the Centre for Research in Quaker Studies and Tutor for Quaker Roles at Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre and continues to research and write part-time.
Ben has delivered theological education at the University of Leeds, Manchester and Chester. Ben’s main research interests include: political theology, the challenges of religious pluralism as well as the theology of early Quaker communities. A key strand in Ben’s research has been an exploration of the ways in which Church communities (including Quakers) relate to liberal-democratic practices. He is a contributor to the Journal of Political Theology, Studies in Christian Ethics, The Journal of Paranthropology and Political Theology Today. He has recently composed a chapter entitled ‘Autonomy and Dignity: A Quaker Theological Response to Assisted Dying’, in Assisted Dying: A Quaker Exploration, (York: Quacks Books, 2016), pp. 93-105). His current research is tied to continuing social and theological debates surrounding notions of ‘individuals’ and ‘selves’.
Read Ben’s theology blog The Armchair Theologian
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