What Do Liberal Quakers Believe?

“What do you believe?” seems to be the first question most people ask about any religion, but it may not be the most relevant question to ask about the creedless faith that is liberal Quakerism. “What do you do?” might be more to the point, or perhaps “How do you live?”

Nonetheless, there are some common responses to the question of what Friends believe. The most common are “We believe in that of God in every person,” along with “We believe in the inward light.” Those are beliefs of a sort, and are very widely held by liberal Friends, but we don’t all agree on what “that of God” or “the inward light” means. What matters most is seeking to live from the conviction that each of us is of great and equal intrinsic worth, fully deserving of love, compassion, and understanding; and that treating others according to that conviction is key to transforming ourselves and our world.

Friends also speak of testimonies which might be thought of as beliefs. Those testimonies have shifted somewhat over time, and not every Friend will name them identically. This suggests that they are not primary, but that they emerge naturally out of something deeper which does not change, but is difficult to name or describe. The most commonly named testimonies are:

Simplicity | Peace | Integrity | Community | Equality | Stewardship
More about the testimonies

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