The Psychology of Salvation, Pt. 6 — Inheriting “the World’s” Perspective

In a Quaker reading of the Fall myth, Adam and Woman have fallen into the spiritual death of the “way of self-wisdom and knowledge,” attempting to usurp God’s role as the Light which shows us what is good and what is evil. Each person will now define good and evil in terms of his or her self-interest, often unaware of doing so.

The Psychology of Salvation, Pt. 2 — Texts, Tools, and Thesis

Our thesis is that, in psychological terms, the biblically-shaped experience of the first Friends implies, first, that the characteristic of commonsense, “normal” self-centeredness constitutes a pervasive schematic bias in the psyches of most human beings, and, second, that Quaker conversion/salvation is a process of detaching from that self-centered bias and adopting a new, love-centered orientation.

The Psychology of Salvation, Pt. 1 — Returning to Our Roots

To frame our religious experience in psychological terms is not to deny a place to those who believe in God, but to return to the very early Quaker insight that, as contemporary thinker John D. Caputo put it, “[T]he event that stirs within the name of God can take place under other names, which complicates the distinction between theism and atheism.”

The Power of Suffering Love: James Nayler and Robert Rich

A 2014 revision of my 1996 essay on James Nayler and Robert Rich. “Nayler was engaging in a bit of ‘street theater’ to demonstrate … that the same Spirit which was in Jesus and his disciples is available to us today — that, in other words, ‘sacred history’ is not so much the story of a golden age in the past but what we do here and now.”