The Journal and Major Essays of John Woolman

Friends United Press


John Woolman, Quaker minister and prophet, deeply understood the relationship of Divine connection with human action. Woolman's analyses of the roots of social evil carefully trace individual responsibility from motive to action, and follow the ever-widening consequences of that action. The `how' of social change is one of Woolman's greatest concerns; and the methods he suggests, springing from a right relationship to God, emphasize nonviolence and express love that encompasses both the wrongdoer and the wronged. This edition of Woolman's Journal is the first to reflect Woolman's final intentions with fidelity and scholarly accuracy.

The definitive edition of Woolman’s Journal. J. Phillips Moulton’s scholarly work on John Woolman exemplified the application of intellectual endeavors to the service of religion which culminated in editing The Journal and Major Essays of John Woolman, originally published by Oxford University Press and currently available from Friends United Press. The necessary research was aided by grants from Haverford College, the American Philosophical Society, and Adrian College. Moulton drew on Quaker materials in the Haverford and Swarthmore College Libraries, as well as those in other repositories in the United States and England. 

Our Reviews

Michael Birkel

In the critical edition of his Journal, editor Phillips Moulton’s numerous footnotes preserve John Woolman’s changes in the various copies that he made of his text. So when Woolmans expression grows more opaque, it often indicates that he is struggling to find adequate language to express an experience of such spiritual depth that it lies at the edge of human capacity for meaningful utterance. These passages can require effort to understand, but the resulting insights are worth the effort.