The Office of the Provost established the Quaker Studies Working Group in 2018. The Working Group supports the Academic Study of Quakerism at Haverford College.
The field of Quaker Studies encompasses a wide variety of methodologies: history, literary studies, anthropology, sociology, gender studies, religious studies, and visual studies, for example. Scholars who work in the field sometimes approach Quakerism with a good deal of skepticism. The range of questions that scholars in Quakers Studies ask is almost identical to the range of questions asked by scholars who focus on other religious, cultural, social and political phenomena. Quakerism has attracted scholars’ interest for a very long time, and it figures prominently in classic scholarly explorations of religion such as James’s Varieties of Religious Experience, (which was published in 1902). But Quaker Studies as it is practiced at Haverford is a young field: it did not really begin to coalesce until the 1990s. Valuable surveys of the current state of the field can be found in The Oxford Handbook of Quaker Studies (edited by Stephen Angell and Pink Dandelion) and Quaker Studies: An Overview (edited by C. Wess Daniels, Robynne Rogers Healey, and Jon R. Kerschner).