Thomas Kelly

Quotes of: Thomas Kelly

Thomas R. Kelly's life (1893-1941) was a quest for reality. Two methods of achieving that goal characterized his search. In his earlier years the stress was upon scholarship; in the latter years the emphasis was upon commitment to Christ and holy obedience to the Inner Voice. Scholarship was not neglected but it became subordinate to inward orientation.

His life came into focus in the summer of 1938 on a memorable visit among German Quakers. There he was "literally melted down by the love of God," as he described the experience. For the next three years he poured out this experience in writing and speaking about the centrality of inward experience, the strength of the blessed community, the joys of the Christ-centered life, and the need for Christian concern. At the height of his powers he passed to the Great Beyond.

Born into a Quaker family in southwestern Ohio, he attended Wilmington College and Hartford Seminary. Most of his life was spent as a professor of philosophy at Earlham College, although he taught for a short time at Pickering College, at the University of Hawaii, and towards the close of his life at Haverford College. During World War I he worked with the Y.M.C.A. in Europe and during 1924-25 he and his wife headed the Quaker Center in Berlin. Quaker outreach in the Orient was one of his chief concerns.

The message of this great mystic is desperately needed today as he still speaks from his first-hand experiences with God.


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