Do Quakers Believe in Heaven?

Throughout his travels for QuakerSpeak last year, Christopher Cuthrell asked Friends to share their thoughts about heaven and the afterlife. The notion of men and women in white robes with wings living in the clouds never really came up—but what they did have to say on the subject is fascinating.

Historically, Lucy Duncan reminds us, Quakers have generally been more focused on creating “heaven on earth” rather than worrying about the afterlife. Erin Wilson points out that biblical ideas of heaven are grounded in human imagination—and, as Khary Bekka observes, “it goes against common sense.”

Meanwhile, Windy Cooler believes Jean-Paul Sartre was wrong, that it’s heaven that’s other people: “God is found in each of us, so when we connect with one another fully and with generosity, that is heaven.”

4 thoughts on “Do Quakers Believe in Heaven?

  1. I think of heaven as a place where our discarnate souls can contemplate their past lives and plan for future lives that will give them a chance to develop spirituallly. I likr Lynnette Davos’s epplanation of ennergy. I think kthat sould are gatheerd into g roupswhere thry ca learnnn lessos,and recognize what they have doe insufficiently; kind of like a school. we are all at different spiritual levels ad are stivingCamden to improce to perfection, realizing that there will be no real perfection until all souls hae reached this high level. Threrefore our overall life objectives are first to fid our proper path ad then to help (not dictate to)otheres to otherss to find each his/her ow way.
    I don’t veliece in Hell. why would a lovig parent condemn a child to eternal pain? this was, I think;, Something thought up by early friests to sell indulgenses. rather misdirected souls are given an op portunity to learn a correct pathlCamden, Delaware

  2. So… it is true that often Christianity has been co-opted as providing simply a “ticket to heaven”. I believe we are called a to help create (co-create) a just world in our here and now… on earth as it is in heaven. But I also believe in a heaven … a next step where the love of God continues to call me … No idea what it looks like but everything within me tells me there is more. (call it hope – or wishful thinking … but it seems like a clear yes to me.)

  3. A good start on life after death. To me there is a system of continuing our learning. Think for a minute about eternal hell. Is there a God that can do that, to have a soul tortured forever. A God that would do that would not be a God at all. What would we do with the demons of this extistence. They would be born again and again. If you have not learned what it is all about you keep recycling until you learned what the early Quakers understood. What we have to learn here is service to others. If you learn that you graduate.

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