The Quaker Clearness Committee: Background information when reading What Comes After

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What Comes After

by JoAnne Tompkins

What Comes After by JoAnne Tompkins X
What Comes After by JoAnne Tompkins
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  • Published:
    Apr 2021, 432 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Jane McCormack
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About this Book

The Quaker Clearness Committee

This article relates to What Comes After

Throughout What Comes After by JoAnne Tompkins, Isaac Balch meditates on how his Quaker religion might help him come to terms with the murder of his son, Daniel. Paramount in Quakerism is the belief that a person's relationship with God is an independent matter. In keeping with this, much of the community's spiritual work is carried out in a manner that focuses on the individual practitioner. For example, Quakers gather in a meeting house to worship through communal silence and occasional voluntary speaking, rather than holding a service with a presiding officiant. Another practice that emphasizes the importance of the individual is that of the clearness committee, a group that helps a person with processing around a life choice or event.

Although clearness committees traditionally have covered a narrow scope of topics, mainly marriages and Quaker memberships, their roles have been expanding. A committee can now be gathered to explore a number of potential life changes. When...

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