Feast of Rufus Jones (June 16)   Leave a comment

Quaker Philosopher, Historian, and Theologian; died in 1948

Rufus Jones was born in South China, Maine, on January 25, 1863.  He graduated from Haverford College (near Philadelphia, Pennyslvania) in 1886 and edited Friends’ Review (now The American Friend) from 1893 to 1912.

Jones helped to found the American Friends Service Committee in 1917.

After 1927 Jones developed a new approach to missions.  This was to offer humanitarian aid while respecting the religions and cultures of others while eschewing forced conversions.  In other words, Jones proposed to show the love of Christ in the lives of missionaries, not to embrace ethnocentrism.

Jones wrote about mysticism, an essential element of Quakerism.  He argued that positive mysticism entails making contact with a personal being, not an impersonal force.  Furthermore, according to Jones, negative mystics take a positive approach occasionally and positive mystics take a negative approach occasionally.

Jones died on June 16, 1948.



An URL for an excellent article about Rufus Jones and mysticism:



Almighty God, your Holy Spirit gives to one the word of knowledge, and to another the insight of wisdom, and to another the steadfastness of faith.  We praise you for the gifts of grace imparted to your servant Rufus Jones, and we pray that by his teaching we may be led to a fuller knowledge of the truth we have seen in your Son Jesus, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Proverbs 3:1-7 or Wisdom 7:7-14

Psalm 119:89-104

1 Corinthians 2:6-10, 13-16 or 1 Corinthians 3:5-11

John 17:18-23 or Matthew 13:47-52


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