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The Radical Travels Of Mary Fisher: Walking And Writing In The Universal Light

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines Mary Fisher’s travels and extant writings as radical attempts to overcome difference in the light of this eschatological imminence. Of particular concern will be the linkages between sexual, social, ethnic, and religious difference. The author hopes to show that the radical performative and narrative attempts of early Quakers to dissolve these differences were, although courageous, ultimately uneven in their success. Insisting on the dissolution of difference in one part of the journey or the story often meant not its disappearance but its displacement, on difference being even more deeply etched elsewhere. Fisher remained famous around the world around the Quaker world at least for one particular remarkable travel encounter. In the various historical accounts and representations of this meeting, commonality and difference are held in a tension that is precarious, but which also has the potential to be productive.

Keywords: eschatological imminence; Mary Fisher; religious difference; travel encounter



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