A seal upon the heart : Quaker readings in the Song of Songs

by Michael Lawrence Birkel

Other authorsChel Avery (Editor), Mary Helgesen Gabel (Designer)
Pamphlet, April 2016



Call number

CP 438 c1


Wallingford, PA : Pendle Hill Publications, 2016.




“The Song of Songs stands as unique among the books of the Bible. This collection of love lyrics, candid in their sensuality and profoundly poetic in their imagery, has attracted lovers of God across the centuries.” Michael Birkel celebrates the poetry of love and the allegory of spiritual intimacy found in this anomalous book. He explores early Friends’ use of its imagery to express their longing for union with the Divine Spirit, their joy in communal worship, and a tenderness to all people in language that remains vivid and moving today. Discussion questions included. -- Publisher's description.

User reviews

LibraryThing member QuakerReviews
In this lovely rich pamphlet, Birkel explains and quotes how early Quakers used the images of this unique book of the Bible, the Song of Songs, to express their message of the presence of the inward Christ, the sweetness and potency of the interior spiritual life, and the transforming love of God
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and tenderness for all people that these bring. The images of the Song of Songs, he declares, become a vocabulary for our amazed awareness of spiritual radiance and our yearning for it. In fact, he maintains, the Song of Songs beckons us into that yearning and the silent wonders beyond, toward the vast inner world of loving spiritual intimacy.
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LibraryThing member kaulsu
Birkel ties the Song of Songs to mystic Christian writers from early Beguines, through medieval writers, to early Friends, then onward unto today. Using as his text the Song of Songs, he explores the age-old quest to find union with the divine. The tenderness found in the canonical book still
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speaks to us today, though few of us are free enough to copy its example in describing our hunger for the consummation of our ecstatic love with God.
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Call number

CP 438 c1


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