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date: 01 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Since its beginnings in the mid-nineteenth century,the Conservative movement among Friends hasbeen more important theologically than numerically. Though its adherents have always been a minority among Friends, their witness has upheld important points of faith and praxis in the root of Quakerism that might otherwise have been lost. Although elements of conservative thought and practice have been present among Friends since the movement’s second generation, they came to prominence in the Wilburite–Gurneyite schisms within the Orthodox branch of Quakerism beginning in 1845. Even as twenty-first-century Conservatives wrestle to sustain an independent identity among Friends at large, they are seen as an example of how to sustain the early Quaker combination of waiting worship and clear Christian commitment while resisting the most serious incursions of the dominant culture into daily religious life.

Keywords: Conservative, Wilburite, separation, Gurneyite, Orthodox

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