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date: 30 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the development of the concepts of ‘plainness’ and ‘simplicity’ from the seventeenthcentury through modern times, suggesting some ways that these concepts have informed Quakers’ thought, choices, and behaviours, as theological, economic, and geographic circumstances have influenced the course of Quaker history. Through the words of early Quaker thinkers and the choices of modern Friends, this chapter discusses how concepts such as ‘plain speech’, ‘humility’, ‘luxury’, and ‘voluntary poverty’ have played out as Quaker constituencies have diversified over several centuries, continents, and cultures.

Keywords: plainness, plain speech, simplicity, voluntary poverty, humility, luxury, Quaker

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