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date: 30 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Several features mark out Quaker ethics as distinctive among Christian denominations. These include the ethical resources and sources of moral authority upon which it draws, the processes of ethical decision-making used, and the place of Testimony as an ethical principle underpinning the vision of a good life. Liberal Quakerism tends to prioritize individual discernment while Evangelical and Conservative traditions retain a reliance on traditional scriptural and pastoral sources of authority, including Books of Discipline. However, in all branches there is a distinctive emphasis on the processes rather than the content of ethical decision-making, and on the use of leadings and concerns. Contemporary areas of Quaker ethical concern continue to reflect the importance of the testimonies as articulations of Gospel Order in Quakerism.

Keywords: ethics, discernment, authority, testimony, Scripture, tradition, Gospel Order, leadings, concern, Book of Discipline, Quaker

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