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The Early Quakers and ‘the Kingdom of God’ takes account of the early Quakers in Britain during the middle years of the seventeenth century as nonviolent, spiritual revolutionaries. Theirs was a time of intellectual ferment and socio-political, economic and ecclesiastical upheaval not to mention three horrific and devastating civil wars. The Early Quakers and ‘the Kingdom of God’ breaks new ground in British theology and ecclesiastical history by investigating the early Quakers’ (1647-63) vision of, and intimate relationship with, the Kingdom of God. Like Jesus of Nazareth, they were particularly devoted to the Kingdom, contrasting it to that of the Puritans, Episcopalians and Catholics. The book acknowledges alternative titles for the ‘Kingdom’ and uses many of them, i.e. the ‘Covenant of Peace’. In describing the tortuous relationship between the above ecclesiastical groups and the Quakers in the mid-17th century, the work analyses the Quakers’ language use, what they said, did, and wrote in regards to the Kingdom, all of which culminated in a Pentecost-type ‘moment’ in 1659-61. This ‘moment’, capturing the essence of their 1650s experience of Kingdom and Testimony (i.e. the well-known peace testimony of the Quakers), has direct import for Quakers and others in the peace movement and conflict resolution networks today, especially those that are church-based. The Early Quakers and ‘the Kingdom of God’ will be of interest to theologians, historians and those with a deep interest in 17th century religious, political and social movements, including people wishing to understand the roots of today’s expression of both evangelical and liberal theology. The book will be a lasting resource for students of history and theology. The reader of The Early Quakers and ‘the Kingdom of God’ will be aided by footnotes, a glossary, an index and bibliography.

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