Modern Believing

Why Silence isn’t ‘Doing Nothing’, and Why it Might be All Right to do Nothing: Spiritual Challenges from Silent Worship to Contemporary Culture

Modern Believing (2015), 56, (3), 333–341.

Abstract

Silence is the starting point of Quaker worship. ‘Keeping silence’ is the conscious acceptance of, and the alignment of one’s activity with, what is already there. Spoken prayers and lists of concerns will always be incomplete; communal silence is inclusive. Silent worship is time-wasting, rather as the anointing of Jesus was ointment-wasting: extravagant acts of devotion, paying attention wholly to another. Silent worship, like street theatre and public vigils, creates a new awareness simply by being there.

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Author details

Muers, Rachel