Quaker vs. Amish
“All of life is a sacrament.” ~Quaker saying
Isn’t that a lovely way to consider ordinary tasks? Folding laundry, doing dishes, shoveling snow. They’re not meaningless at all, but sacraments.
That way of thinking is rooted in Quaker theology. It might sound similar to what you know of the Amish, but look a little closer. The Amish hold tightly to certain sacraments, like baptism and communion. Not so the Quakers.
And then there’s the role of women in the church. BIG differences there!
The Amish have always had an extremely conservative view about a woman’s authority in worship. From the very beginning, Quakers have given women an equal voice. Mary Coffin Starbuck, the 17th century woman who sparked this series, was a Quaker minister.
I’ve written quite a bit about the Old Order Amish. Quite a bit! As I researched and wrote Phoebe’s Light, I was surprised by how often people confused Quakers with the Amish. They do have some values in common, like simplicity and pacifism, but they emerged from different countries and out of different circumstances.
Yet they do have some curious overlaps!
Here’s one example: 18th and 19th century Amish immigrants had worn European peasant clothing, not the distinctive garb they wear today. Their trademark style became influenced by the Quakers in the American colonies–women’s big black bonnets, men’s somber dark overcoats.
Interested in learning more?
“Not to be Confused: Quakers are Not Amish” is a list I created to describe differences and similarities between the Amish and Quakers.
It’s my gift to you as one of the bonuses for pre-ordering Phoebe’s Light — along with a “Lost Chapter” from the book, frameable photos of Nantucket with inspiring Quaker Quotes, and the untold story of Mary Coffin Starbuck (the real-life sage who inspired this series).
More about Phoebe’s Light
Phoebe Starbuck has always adjusted her sails and rudder to the whims of her father. Now, for the first time, she’s doing what she wants to do: marrying Captain Phineas Foulger and sailing far away from Nantucket. As she leaves on her grand adventure, her father gives her two gifts, both of which Phoebe sees little need for. The first is an old sheepskin journal from Great Mary, her highly revered great-grandmother. The other is a “minder” on the whaling ship in the form of cooper Matthew Mitchell, a man whom she loathes.
Soon Phoebe discovers that life at sea is no easier than life on land. Lonely, seasick, and disillusioned, she turns the pages of Great Mary’s journal and finds herself drawn into the life of this noble woman. To Phoebe’s shock, her great-grandmother has left a secret behind that carries repercussions for everyone aboard the ship, especially her husband the captain and her shadow the cooper. This story within a story catapults Phoebe into seeing her life in an entirely new way–just in time.
In this brand-new series, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher brings her signature twists and turns to bear on a fascinating new faith community: the Quakers of colonial-era Nantucket Island.
Suzanne Woods Fisher is a bestselling author of Amish fiction and non-fiction, and a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. The Search won a 2012 Carol Award. The Waiting was a finalist for a 2011 Christy Award. The Choice was a finalist for a 2011 Carol Award. The Letters is a finalist for a Christian Retailing 2014 Best Award. Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World and Amish Proverbs: Words of Wisdom from the Simple Life were both finalists for the ECPA Book of the Year (2010, 2011). Her interest in the Amish began with her grandfather, who was raised Plain in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. She travels back east a couple of times each year for research.