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Personal and Social Transformation in the Work of Anthony Benezet (1713–1784)

Personal and Social Transformation in the Work of Anthony Benezet (1713–1784) Ellen M. Ross* 2013 marked the 300th anniversary of the birth of Anthony Benezet, one of America's too-little-known but most significant reformers. The French-born white Philadelphia Quaker schoolteacher and abolitionist taught black people in his home for many years, persuaded the Society of Friends to establish a school for black children, and organized education for white girls, poor children, multiracial children, and for Indian children. A prolific writer and savvy strategist, Benezet circulated throughout the Americas and Europe his own treatises against slavery and war alongside works of like-minded thinkers. Benezet's writings were foundational for the work of leading abolitionists including Granville Sharp, Thomas Clarkson, and John Wesley. This essay articulates Benezet's overarching vision for personal and social transformation by exploring how his widespread reform concerns, including his opposition to war, his antislavery work, his work on behalf of Acadians and Indians, his temperance concerns, and his concerns for education, emerge from and are inextricably interwoven with his foundational religious commitments.1 In my research on historical patterns of Christian personal and social transformation, I frequently encounter the seeming simplicity of the theological commitments that led believers to challenge the status quo in order to advocate on behalf of http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Quaker History Friends Historical Association

Personal and Social Transformation in the Work of Anthony Benezet (1713–1784)

Quaker History , Volume 103 (2) – Nov 5, 2014

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Publisher
Friends Historical Association
Copyright
Copyright © Friends Historical Association
ISSN
1934-1504
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Ellen M. Ross* 2013 marked the 300th anniversary of the birth of Anthony Benezet, one of America's too-little-known but most significant reformers. The French-born white Philadelphia Quaker schoolteacher and abolitionist taught black people in his home for many years, persuaded the Society of Friends to establish a school for black children, and organized education for white girls, poor children, multiracial children, and for Indian children. A prolific writer and savvy strategist, Benezet circulated throughout the Americas and Europe his own treatises against slavery and war alongside works of like-minded thinkers. Benezet's writings were foundational for the work of leading abolitionists including Granville Sharp, Thomas Clarkson, and John Wesley. This essay articulates Benezet's overarching vision for personal and social transformation by exploring how his widespread reform concerns, including his opposition to war, his antislavery work, his work on behalf of Acadians and Indians, his temperance concerns, and his concerns for education, emerge from and are inextricably interwoven with his foundational religious commitments.1 In my research on historical patterns of Christian personal and social transformation, I frequently encounter the seeming simplicity of the theological commitments that led believers to challenge the status quo in order to advocate on behalf of

Journal

Quaker HistoryFriends Historical Association

Published: Nov 5, 2014

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