Four Spiritual Types:
Resources for Friends

(also known as Quakers or Members of the Religious Society of Friends)

a page in


Reba's Eclectic Collection of Musings, Images and Annotated Webliographies

"Wait to feel that which stays your minds on the Lord and keeps your eyes towards Him.
~~ Isaac Pennington, letter LXV

In creating this Web page it is my intention to provide resources of use to members and attenders of the Ithaca Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends as we work together to learn more about "high stakes decision making." In particular, my goal is that readers will find source materials online written by the eight [8] weighty Quakers listed below* who are said to represent the "four spiritual types" as described by Corrine Ware in her book Discover Your Spiritual Type [Bethesda, Md.: The Alban Institute, 1995.] It is not the purpose of this site be an exhaustive resources about these 8 individuals nor on the Religious Society of Friends.

While I originally intended to link to individual documents, there are many wonderful Web sites already on the Internet with linked resources and I see no point in "reinventing the wheel." My hyperlinks will thus go to the page on a site that brings my readers to the most useful starting place for the parameters of this document. I also recommend going backwards to the Homepage (usually the first segment of the URL / "address") of some of these resources to find out whatever else might be useful or of interest at that Web site, as many are quite rich.

Further, while there is plenty to read right here on the Internet, there is even more of potential interest that has not been... and likely will not be... scanned for upload any time soon. Books and periodicals reside in libraries the world over and are often available through interlibrary loan. However, many people have never initiated an interlibrary loan, so I am including a brief tutorial at the end of this document.

*Note: The Quakers used as representative examples here were listed as belonging to these "types" in a document provided by Steve Mohlke to the ad hoc "complex / high stakes decisions working group" at our first gathering in the spring of 2009. Unfortunately there was no bibliographic citation on the hand-out, so I am not sure who decided on these particular individuals or why they were put into these "types." As Christopher Sammond rightfully points out: "I think it would also be helpful to Friends to... name that these types are not excusivist nor hard-edged. Most of us have one strongest suit, and one or more secondary strengths, with one area generally underdeveloped. This is true for the Quaker greats you have used; I could argue several of them falling reasonably well into a different category than the one given them."

The Four Spiritual Types ~ Representative Quakers:

Thinking Spirituality - Robert Barclay, Margaret Fell, Rufus M. Jones

Goal: Tries to make sense of mystical experience [often that of others], to name it and make it something to communicate to others. Content is primary; focus of congruence of thought and belief. Highly language oriented.
Emphasis: More study groups, better information on faith and practice, Quaker history, theological reflection.
Risks: Over intellectualism and dogmatism [Many of us came to Friends to avoid the excesses of this type of spirituality, so we tend to react strongly against any trace of this, becoming anti-intellectual and experience-only in orientation.]

Heart Spirituality - George Fox

Goal: Seeks transformation and renewal of self.
Emphasis: Community, shared experience, evangelism, warmth of feeling, energy, joy, enthusiasm.
Risks: Xenophobic attitude that we have the answer and that it is us against the world.

Mystic Spirituality - James Naylor, Isaac Pennington

Goal: Seeks union with God, renewal of the inner life.
Emphasis: The journey of movement towards union with God. Hearing from God is more important than speaking to God. Practices simplicity to hear the inner voice. Contemplative, introspective, intuitive. Once comfortable with who they are, they are more prone to laugh than any other type.
Risks: Quietism -- retreat from the world and external reality.

Activist Spirituality - Lucretia Mott, John Woolman

Goal: To transform this world into the Kingdom of God.
Emphasis: Seeks through personal crusade to regenerate society, rectify the wrongs of this world. Action is their spiritual expression [though they may not view it as such]. Spiritually active visionaries.
Risks: A moralistic and unrelenting tunnel vision.

The Four Spiritual Types ~ Online Resources:

Christian Classics Ethereal Library

A project of Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI this site features full texts of works no longer covered by copyright including ones by Robert Barclay, George Fox, and John Woolman.

Emory Women Writers Resource Project

Part of the Lewis H. Beck Center for Electronic Collections at Emory University, Atlanta, GA this site presently includes works by Margaret Askew Fell Fox and some secondary material on Lucretia Mott.

James Naylor's Spiritual Writings

This robust catalog of online works by James Naylor is one page at the Street Corner Society, a Web site that also has links to works by Robert Barclay, Margaret Fell, George Fox, Lucretia Mott, Isaac Pennington, John Woolman and many others whose works fall outside the scope of this document.

Lucretia Coffin Mott Papers Project

Edited by Beverly Wilson Palmer at Ponoma College, Claremont, CA. Contains some primary sources as well as additional information and links. To have a look at Lucretia Mott's beautiful penmanship see the page entitled About Lucretia Coffin Mott.

Online Texts at Quaker Heritage Press

Located in Farmington, ME it is the aim of this publisher to make available various historical Quaker writings that have been allowed to go out of print. Here you will find works by Robert Barclay, James Naylor and Isaac Pennington as well as the vast collection of resources put together and independently managed by Peter Sippel at the Quaker Pages.

Pendle Hill Pamphlets

The introduction to this site says that "The typical pamphlet has certain characteristics which make it an apt vehicle for experimental thought. It should be the right length to be read easily at a single sitting. It should portray a single thesis without wandering from it. It must be concerned with a topic of contemporary (though not necessarily topical) importance. And a Quaker pamphlet, like a Quaker sermon, must embody a concern." Included here are many of the first 300 pamphlets published by Pendle Hill between 1934 and 1993. More recent pamphlets are available for purchase from the Pendle Hill Bookstore. This list includes source material by Rufus M. Jones, Lucretia Mott, Isaac Pennington, and John Woolman.

William Penn Lectures

This site includes the texts of the lectures supported by the Young Friends' Movement of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting and given between 1916 and 1966 when the lectures were laid down. There were 44 lectures in all and the scanning and posting is an on-going project. Rufus M. Jones is well represented here.

If you still have not found what you want, here are a few added resources of use in Quaker Studies:

Digital Quaker Collection

In the March, 2005 edition, Choice [Volume 42, #7], the scholarly reviewing publication of the American Library Association contained the following review by R. Watts of the University of S. Carolina - Aiken

[Visited Dec'04]
"The Earlham School of Religion, a graduate theological school for the Society of Friends (Quakers), has provided access to a wealth of journals, letters, and monographs at this site. The selected documents detail Quaker theology, spirituality, history, and practice since the inception of the religion in the mid-17th century. Earlham's purpose in providing access to these texts is to support Quaker scholarship for its distance education students and to provide a resource for local congregations. The resulting collection from a variety of Quaker authors consists of over 500 volumes considered to be in the public domain. Prominent Quaker figures such as George Fox and William Penn are well represented, but the collection also includes numerous authors of lesser prominence. Each text was scanned and encoded in XML, which allows the scholar to view individual volumes in their original format with original spelling. Additionally, texts are available in a plain-text format. Users can browse the collection by author or title, but the real value stems from the availability of outstanding search capabilities. Scholars are able to search using Boolean or proximity operators, the index, and biblical references. Each search can be limited by place of publication, date, author, or gender of author. This major contribution to Quaker scholarship is a must for all levels of researchers. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through faculty/researchers; general readers."

Friends Historical Library

Established in 1871 and located on the campus of Swarthmore College in suburban Philadelphia this library is open to the public. Its mission is to document the history of the Religious Society of Friends and its concerns from the 17th century to the present. One of the resources here is a selection of photos of James and Lucretia Mott at

Quaker and Special Collections at Magill Library

The Special Collections at Haverford College, Haverford, PA are well worth a visit as they have made a special effort at collecting historical and international Quaker materials of all types and if you have an interest in Rufus M. Jones this collection is a "must see" as it was here that he did his undergraduate study and taught for 41 years. The library is fortunate to house his collection of about 1,000 books on mysticism, his personal papers and a nearly complete set of his published works.

A fairly comprehensive index of sites and resources related to the Religious Society of Friends created and maintained by Russell Nelson of Potsdam, NY, useful in locating a wide range of Web sites, materials, organizations, and outreach programs.

Interlibrary Loan Tutorial

To accomplish a patron initiated interlibrary loan there are two critically important Web sites you must first visit, gather a bit of information, print out your results and take the printed pages to the reference desk of your local public, college or university library.

To search for or confirm your citation: Complete, accurate publication data can be gotten for works in and out of print through the online Catalog of the Library of Congress. The "Basic Search" is fairly easy to navigate; the catalog also offers a "Guided Search" option. Search for the author (or subject or title) of interest to you and scroll down to see the links to items in the collections of the Library of Congress.

SAMPLE SEASRCH: Click on "Basic Search"
Type in "lucretia mott"
Select "Author / Creator Keyword" from the drop down list

Note: You may use a first name, last name format and no capital letters and it still works.

The search results in 10 potential items through a link that says: "Mott, Lucretia, 1793-1880" in the Heading field, click on that link.

Note the information provided at the upper left corner of the screen, which can be very helpful:
DATABASE: Library of Congress Online Catalog
YOU SEARCHED: Author/Creator Keyword = lucretia mott
SEARCH RESULTS: Displaying 1 through 10 of 10.

The search results can be sorted, my preference is usually to see most recently published items first (i.e. most likely to be readily available), so I generally sort using "Date (Descending)" from the choices in the drop down box.
Next, choose a catalog record to examine, in this case the third item in the list fits the criteria of source material written by Lucretia Mott: Lucretia Mott, Her Complete Speeches and Sermons. To see the record, click on the title.
I find it useful to e-mail the citation to myself, or sometimes I want to share it with or someone else; use the tool at the bottom of the page to do this.
When deciding on the format for e-mailing, I always chose "Full Citation" so as to have everything that may be needed at a future time without having to repeat this search. I do this even if I only need brief information at present.
Should you wish to share your find with someone else it will come to them having an odd subject & sender and may be redirected to their Bulk or Junk Mail, so warn them to watch for it.
To see the full citation now just click on the "LCCN Permalink."
If, after viewing the record this were not what was wanted or there is a desire to search the initial results list for additional items, return to the list by using the "Back" button on the Browser.

Once you have a print out of the full citation of the material to be interlibrary loaned, the next step is to find out which libraries own it. The Library of Congress does not interlibrary loan its holdings. You will want to find out if any other libraries own the material you wish to read.

In the search box just type in enough information to get a precise search for your desired item. In this sample search "mott sermons" brought up too many results, so an easy revision to "lucretia mott sermons" yielded results with the record for the item already searched at the Library of Congress coming up first in WorldCat.

As with the Library of Congress Catalog, toward the top of the results list is some useful on how many items your search resulted in and some sorting options, should you need to use these tools.

Click on the title of the item you are interested in. You will come to a brief citation with several cross referencing links.
Looking down on the page you will see a lot of additional information about the item you searched for and a place where you can input your zip code. Do so and click "Find libraries." Owning institutions then show on the screen in order of distance, with those closest to your zip code coming up first.
You will want to print out the first page or two of this information and bring it with you when you go see your librarian.
In this sample search 577 libraries owned this title, with 19 of those copies being within 100 miles of my zip code, and the furthest away at Murdoch University in Australia, 11400 miles away. You only need to print out a page or two listing the closest locations, just to assure the librarian that the book is available. The library placing the loan will determine who to contact about the loan.

Interlibrary loans are just that -- loans of materials between institutions, so you will need to go to either a public library where you are a member or to a college or university library where you have borrowing privileges. Some libraries will charge a small fee for this service. If asked, I suggest saying up to $5.00 (if you are willing to pay anything). Generally there is no cost involved however; you are more likely to get what you want if you indicate a willingness to pay a nominal fee. If what you are want to read is so specialized that only a very few, or only private institutions own it, consider increasing the amount you are willing to pay to off-set costs involved in communication, shipping and handling.

This page in THE FOXFILES is respectfully dedicated to all of the faculty, administration and staff past, present and future, at the Lucretia Mott School, P.S. 215 Queens in Far Rockaway, NY where I was fortunate to spend many of the happiest days of my childhood. There my intellectual curiosity and enthusiasm for life was nurtured and encouraged. It was also there that I had my earliest exposure to both Quakerism and the struggle for Women's Rights when I decided to read a biography about the person whose name was displayed on the outside of the building as one of the weekly books we were to choose and report on, either in a the form of a written report or as a "sharing" report, in the fifth grade classroom of Miss Marcia Levinson.

All materials offered here are choices of the author who is responsible for the original content and any opinions expressed herein. She is not responsible for the content of any site she has chosen to link to. Comments, corrections and additions many be sent to:
This Web page posted: Seventh Month, 16th, CE 2009; and revised: Eighth Month, 18th, CE 2009.
THE FOXFILES 1996-2009, Rebekah Tanner