A language for the inward landscape

Brian Drayton writes about a weekend at Pendle Hill: "We were talking about the many passages in the old Quaker journals in which the writers described their inward states, using words and phrases that were both puzzling and full of implication." Drayton said that a friend, Bill Taber, called it "a language for the inward landscape," a kind of technical language for "Quaker spirituality that is too little known among Friends."

Bill passed away in 2005, but in a book released this month, A Language for the Inward Landscape: Spiritual Wisdom from the Quaker Movement, Brian uses Bill's work to introduce a uniquely Friend-ly way of doing theology experientially. "Friends refuse to subordinate spiritual experience, and the transformation of personality, to intellectual formulation" providing, instead, in their writings, a uniquely "Quaker theology of the narrative, pastoral, or prophetic."

Barclay Press produces guides for individual and small-group devotional experiences, and we publish a handful of books each year. We also sell books through our online bookstore - part of our work to help connect Friends to each other and to some of the best resources on what it means to be part of the Friends movement.

One of our ongoing projects is a study from T Vail Palmer on reading the Bible with empathy, a study whose first volume we hope to release later this year. In the meantime, this book from Brian helps to put into words why we do what we do at Barclay Press, why we do what we do as evangelical Friends, seeking to enter into "an encounter with the living God . . . [dwelling] in watchfulness, maintaining an inward attention on our condition, not far from the threshold of prayer, and becoming increasingly sensitive to the little hints and motions of the Spirit."

Eric Muhr