Founder of the Society of Friends (Quakers)
George Fox (July 1624 – 13 January 1691) was an English Dissenter and a founder of the Religious Society of Friends, commonly known as the Quakers or Friends. The son of a Leicestershire weaver, Fox lived in a time of great social upheaval and war. He rebelled against the religious and political authorities by proposing an unusual and uncompromising approach to the Christian faith.
London, Kingdom of England
Fox was the son of a weaver and left home at age 18 in search of religious experience. Probably beginning as a Puritan, he reacted even more strongly than the Puritans against the tradition of the Church of England and came to regard personal experience as the true source of authority, placing God-given “inward light,” or inspiration, above creeds and scripture. He traveled the countryside on foot, preaching to small groups, and he and other preachers established congregations. The Society of Friends arose in the 1650s. The Quakers' denunciation of ministers and public officials and their refusal to pay tithes or take oaths led to persecution, and Fox was imprisoned eight times between 1649 and 1673. He made missionary trips to Ireland, the Caribbean islands, North America, and northern Europe. His Journal gives an account of his life and of the rise of Quakerism.
There is a more detailed biography at the online 11th Edition Encyclopedia Brittanica.
Works by George Fox
The Autobiography of George Fox is a great Christian autobiography similar to Augustine's Confessions. George Fox, the founder of the Religious Society of Friends, or Quakerism, tells of the key events in his life, focusing on his own religious beliefs and the struggles he faced for them in this lightly edited Autobiography. As a "positive" mystic, someone who believes that each person can have direct, continual access to the "Divine Presence," Fox was often persecuted for his preaching during his travels. Nevertheless, he remained dedicated to his cause of equality and tolerance even after he was imprisoned several times. For this reason, many believers have found Fox's story of perseverance encouraging and uplifting, as well as thoroughly entertaining due to Fox's gift of storytelling. The Autobiography of George Fox is highly recommended.
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