In this book Grace Jantzen constructs a Quaker spirituality of beauty as a theological-philosophical response to a world preoccupied with death and violence. Having mapped the foundations of western cultural violence in the Greco-Roman period and the Judea-Christian tradition in Foundations of Violence and Violence to Eternity, she now offers her alternative vision. This vision is an original and creative feminist reading of the Quaker tradition, considering George Fox and the writings of Quaker women, exploring the themes of inner light and beauty as alternatives to violence and the obstacles to building such an alternative world. After showing how seventeenth-century Quakers offered a different option for modernity, she maps the philosophical and ethical implications of engaging with the world through beauty and its transforming power. Written for everyone interested in contemporary spirtuality, it explains how Quaker ideas can provide a way to transform our violent world into one that celebrates life rather than death, peace rather than violence.
This work is the second of two posthumous publications to complete Grace M. Jantzen’s Death and the Displacement of Beauty collection, which began with Foundations of Violence (Routledge, 2004).