Chapter 10 » 10.29

Individual commitment

Pierre Ceresole (1879–1945), the Swiss pioneer of work camps and founder of International Voluntary Service, suffered repeatedly as a conscientious objector. He broke with Christian orthodoxy, which he felt no longer believed in its own dogmas, and joined Friends in 1936.

I feel very strongly … that the spiritual life absolutely requires that we should not remain isolated. It is this deep need of getting out of a prolonged and dangerous relative isolation which urges me to ask now to be admitted among the Quakers. It is more and more clear to me that it is only in the bosom of a religious family, freely but very strongly constituted, that the individual can render to the world the services it sorely needs and which no politics, not based on a deep inspiration, can hope to organise.

Pierre Ceresole, 1936

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