I wanted to write a brief note about this little book with a very practical title and content and also about another entitled Dimensions of Prayer. The writer of these two was a prolific author who published many titles in the mid year of the twentieth century. He was a prominent leader and speaker in Quaker circles, particularly in the USA. His background shows through in every book. Thoughtful, prayerful, and in many aspects, scriptural and gracious he gives the reader good food for thought and in some cases, points the way to concrete action.
The title “Work and Contemplation” brings together what so many separate. A seamless life is what he advocates as being the genuinely Christian way. Obviously a man taught of God he brings the truth out in ways that are refreshing in both their simplicity and profundity. Books to ponder, a paragraph here and there to reflect on. Some would even use the one on prayer as a kind of primer for a prayerful life.
Because he is scholarly, (for some years he was professor of Philosophy at an American University), he draws on a whole welter of other writers and thus introduces the reader who follows through on the notes to other authors both new and old. Douglas Steere was greatly loved by those who knew him. He mingled widely with men of other denominations and was active in ecumenical work as well as organising aid for Polish and other refugees after the Second World War. Because he writes from a mainly Quaker position such titles as “Beginning from Within” in part sum up the thrust of what he has to say. The book “Dimensions of Prayer” is set in smaller sections and is very practical. It and a number of others are still in print and available new and some can be downloaded at a small price onto a Kindle.