Religion in the Age of Enlightenment


Religion in the Age of Enlightenment, review, Quaker Women


This anthology showcases the experience of an underrepresented group of women: eighteenth-century Quakers. This group has received comparatively little critical attention in contrast to Quaker women of the seventeenth century; Skidmore's anthology helps to fill this void. Skidmore's edition begins with an introductory chapter that helps to define Quakerisms origins, the value of testimony, and the comparative equality of women who participated in a faith that acknowledged "the 'priesthood of all believers'" (2). The eight women whose writings Skidmore anthologizes have lives full of mobility and agency and were, these accounts imply, respected members of their communities. Following is a brief survey of the volume, which would be a useful resource to scholars working on gender and mobility, Quaker history, or women and religion. It would also make an appealing classroom text for a graduate or upper-division class focusing on similar topics.