Liberal Quakerism and 12 step spirituality: realised universalism?
The Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) website records 156 AA meetings being held each week at Quaker Meeting Houses in Britain. In his introduction to Beyond My Control, Alex Wildwood notes that:
More than one author draws the analogy between Quaker Meeting for Worship and the 12 Step group, and between “the group conscience” of the AA 12 Traditions and our business meetings.
Robert Levering has observed that “increasing numbers of new Friends are attracted to the Society because of the compatibility of Quakerism with the spirituality of the recovery movement”. It is therefore relevant and interesting to compare and contrast liberal British Quakerism and 12 Step spirituality as originated by AA and adopted and adapted by many other “Anonymous” fellowships.
By their inclusive nature both societies demonstrate forms of realised universalism.
The Steps and Traditions are explained in the AA book Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.
Laurie Andrews ran weekly AA meetings for prisoners in Britain.
Download the full text of the article; quaker.pdf