Monday, April 7, 2008


Hello! This is the first of hopefully many posts to come on how people of all spiritual backgrounds might benefit from considering Quaker principles in weighing investment options. I will be reviewing the core Quaker testimonies of peace, equality, integrity and simplicity as well as discussing basic economic principles related to investing generally and socially responsible investing specifically. I'll also be looking at how the two might connect in worthwhile ways.

As my bio indicates, I am graduate of the Earlham School of Religion in Richmond, Indiana. I first became interested in socially responsible investing (SRI) through my service on an Earlham College committee charged with the task of updating the institution’s policy on this subject. Given the struggles we had defining both SRI and Quaker principles, it occurred to me then that an ongoing discussion of both and guidance on how to tie the two together would be of great value to Quakers.

Since that time, I have come to the conclusion that such an effort would also be of great value to all those seeking to apply ethical principles to their investments. In reviewing the literature on SRI, it is very difficult to find any materials that provide a framework for the moral considerations that must be weighed when undertaking this important task.

The Quaker testimonies of simplicity, peace, integrity, and equality provide such a framework, and it is one that addresses many of the concerns of the SRI movement as a whole. The historical practice of these testimonies among Quakers in their financial decisions provides a time-tested witness that is unique and offers practical guidance rooted in faith for those who may otherwise feel overwhelmed by the choices before them.

I hope you'll keep reading and invite your contributions to the discussion!

Below are some helpful links that may serve as good entryways into the site:

What is SRI?
- Part I: General definition
- Part II: Screening
- Part III: Shareholder advocacy
- Part IV: Community development
- Part V: Microfinance

The Quaker origins of SRI

What are the Quaker testimonies?

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