Although relatively few in number-there are only a few hundred thousand members worldwide-the Religious Society of Friends has had an unusually strong impact. Originating in Great Britain in the 17th century, the denomination has since expanded to many other parts of the world while its spiritual influence has reached even further. Concepts such as the "inward light" and "friendly persuasion" are familiar well beyond their own circles and others have often heeded the Quakers' call for cooperation and peaceful resolution of problems as the wisest counsel. Yet, while widely known and admired, they are too often known only superficially. The A to Z Guide of the Friends (Quakers) clears up these superficialities by digging much deeper into the Society's past as well as present. In the guide's dictionary section, numerous cross-referenced entries describe the origins and history, the situation in many different countries, the basic concepts and practices, and the views on important contemporary issues. Others present the leading figures, from the founders, such as George Fox and Francis Howgill, on. The chronology shows the progression over time while the bibliography points the way to further reading. The book's four editors were aided by an Advisory Committee, while the contributions stem from over a hundred authors.
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