Religious Studies and Theology, Vol 26, No 1 (2007)

The Tale of Three Women: A Conversation with Anne Conway and Margaret Fell Fox

Susan M. Young
Issued Date: 15 Jul 2007

Abstract


Lady Anne Conway (1631-1679) and Margaret Fell Fox (1614-1702) used what Audrey Lorde has called the tools of the Master’s House, in this instance philosophy and religion, as instruments of self-expression and definition rather than silence and oppression. Through rational argument, Conway challenged philosophic and religious positions about the nature of God and his relationship with the natural world. Through disembodied spirit, Fell and the Quakers pushed Protestant doctrine beyond its belief in the authority of the scriptural Word as interpreted by the individual to the authority of Christ speaking within the individual. Drawing on my own experience as both a feminist and a spiritual seeker, I argue that their primary motivation was not political, religious, or social dissent, but rather a determination to walk a radical spiritual path towards self-transformation.

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DOI: 10.1558/rsth.v26i1.45

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