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Belief and Business + Quakers History - Faith in action

Belief and Business + Quakers History - Faith in action

Beliefs and Business
by Hearts and Minds Media

We have seen that at various times in the past, there was a clear social expectation 
on businesspeople to do good with their money through personal philanthropy. In 
certain industries this took on the nature of a race, with those who competed against 
each other in the commercial arena also trying to outdo each other when it came to 
their charitable deeds. The brewing industry was one such example. In the 19th 
century, almost all of the figures behind the biggest beer brands of the time were 
significant donors. This was almost certainly in part a response to the ongoing 
criticism of their brewing activities by the vocal temperance movement. For instance,
it is noted of the Liverpool brewer and philanthropist Andrew Barclay Walker (who 
gifted to the city the art gallery bearing his name)that ‘his business interests in 
the brewing trade made him a controversial political figure in a city riven by sectarian 
and religious differences’, and that ‘many saw Walker’s philanthropy as a crude 
attempt to establish his own cultural status in the town and to curry favour with 
metropolitan artistic elites’.349 Critics saw his support for the arts (which admittedly 
came somewhat out of nowhere) as nothing more that an attempt to ‘buy a knighthood through showy displays of  philanthropy’. Whatever the motivation behind their donations however, and  notwithstanding such criticisms, it was clear that ‘. . . brewers were expected to be involved with the community and to be charitable’. In fact, so ubiquitous was charitable giving among the major figures in brewing (dubbed ‘the Beerage’ ), that a 
failure to give was reason for raised eyebrows. Fred King, of the still-famous Greene, King and Sons, for instance, ‘may be the only brewer of whom it never seems to have been claimed that he made the world a better place by some means other than his beer’.

Quakers - Faith in action, belief and simplicity
by Hearts and Minds Media

Quakers share a way of life rather than a set of beliefs. Quakers seek to experience God directly, within ourselves and in our relationships with others and the world through direct action in all avenues of life. I wanted to develop a short overview of the movement and practice of quakers through the years in their major influence globally on humanity, society and communities.

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