The Quakers’ Church Militant
Chapter two examines the tension between the Friends' ideal of peace and the militant metaphors employed by Quaker ministers. Male and female Society members declared themselves holy warriors, called by their divine commander to take to the battlefield in Christ's army. In this way, Friends declared a holy war against nationalism and fought with every spiritual weapon in their arsenal. This unique assertion of a church militant was a response to the growing association between citizenship and military service. This correlation had two significant effects: the definition of citizenship as an exclusively male privilege and, consequently, an increasingly inextricable link between manhood and violence. Quakers simultaneously rejected the increasingly gendered nature of national citizenship and fought against the ways in which manhood was becoming intimately tied to violence and domination. In so doing, they also promulgated a new definition of femininity—one that introduced a model of active, engaged female citizenship based on the equal participation of women in the imagined community of the nation.
Keywords: church militant, American revolution, pacifism, citizen soldier, militarism, citizenship, masculinity, femininity