The following text is from Irivng Hexham's Concise Dictionary of Religion, first published by InterVarsity Press, Carol Stream, USA, 1994, second edition, Regent College Press, Vancouver, 1999.

To order contact REGENT BOOKSTORE Copyright Irving Hexham 1994, 1998. For further information about the AUTHOR. For further information about the book and the sources used to compile this text see the PREFACE. For a Religious Studies READING LIST.

Cross-references are indicated by the use of CAPITAL LETTERS.


Q: the symbol used by NEW TESTAMENT scholars to refer to supposed common material found in the Gospels of Matthew, and Luke. It stands for the German word "Quelle" meaning "source." The theory of "Q" was introduced by nineteenth century German Biblical critics and vigorously propagated by Dr. Streeter, an Oxford professor, who argued that an original text "Q" lay behind the Gospels we know today. His views and the way they were enforced was strongly criticized by various scholars, including F. W. Farmer, though they remain widely accepted by scholars today.


QUAKERS: a small PROTESTANT GROUP known as the SOCIETY OF FRIENDS which arose in the seventeenth century as a result of the preaching of George FOX. They emphasized the leading of the HOLY SPIRIT, or INNER LIGHT, rejected the SACRAMENTS, insisted on "plain speech," simple dress and repudiated all FORMS of art including music. There are two possible origins of the name: the first is derived from Fox's call to Justice Bennet in 1650 that he should "quake" before the WORD OF GOD; the second meaning comes from some members of the group who shook or quaked during services. Strongly pacifist, the Quakers have been very active in SOCIAL REFORM and education.


QUANTUM THEORY: classical physics as developed by NEWTON held that it was possible to know both the speed and position of any particle. With HEISENBERG'S uncertainty principle, modern physics recognized that we can know either the speed or the position of a particle but not both. The implication of these findings, which were given expression in the work of Nils BOHR, Max PLANCK and Albert EINSTEIN, is that the older mechanistic view of the physical UNIVERSE which was essentially deterministic no longer holds true. As a result, arguments such as those of David HUME against the possibility of MIRACLES are no longer as sound as they once seemed.


QUE: Latin term meaning "in so far as" or "in the capacity of."


QUIETISM: a FORM of SPIRITUALITY which emphasizes "waiting on GOD" and the abandonment of SELF to God. More specifically it refers to MYSTICS like MADAME GUYON who alarmed the seventeenth century ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH because their views were thought to lead to PANTHEISM.


QUIMBY, Phineas Parkhurst (1802-1866): Lebanese born American religious innovator, HEALER and hypnotist who formulated a "science of happiness." His work gave rise to NEW THOUGHT and inspired Mary BAKER-EDDY the founder of CHRISTIAN SCIENCE.


QUINE, Willard van Orman (1908-): American philosopher and logician whose essay "The Two Dogmas of Empiricism" (1951) republished in From a Logical Point of View (1953), seriously challenged reductionism and the VERIFICATION PRINCIPLE. His later work concerned the nature of language and has been seen to support the view of John DEWEY as well as encouraging a radical approach to translation.


QUMRAN: the site of a JEWISH MONASTIC community which flourished between 150 B.C. and 68 A.D. where in 1947 an Arab shepherd boy discovered in nearby caves what proved to be a unique collection of ancient HEBREW and ARAMAIC manuscripts--known as the DEAD SEA SCROLLS--belonging to a Jewish SECT generally thought to be ESSENES.


QURA'N: the HOLY BOOK of ISLAM which was REVEALED by GOD through the ANGEL GABRIEL to MUHAMMUD who commissioned various scribes to record it. The name means "that which is 'read' or 'recited.'" The essential teachings are that God is One and that He demands absolute submission from mankind; hence the name of the religion: ISLAM. MUSLIMS believe that the QUR'N was given by WAHY--REVELATION--which is not to be confused with ILHM or INSPIRATION. For Muslims the QUR'N is the eternal WORD OF GOD and as such is a DIVINE attribute. Islamic teaching about the QUR'N does not correspond to CHRISTIAN views about the person of CHRIST as the INCARNATION of God instead, Christ is seen by the QUR'N as a prophet of God. While Christians believe that the BIBLE was inspired by God they also accept that it was written by men. Muslims reject such a view insisting that the QUR'N is uniquely the Word of God without human intervention. Therefore, while it is correct to speak of PAUL as the author of Romans, it is incorrect to say that the QUR'N was written by Muhammad. Nevertheless, originally a number of variant readings existed which were destroyed on the orders of AB BAKR to avoid confusion and the type of problem CHRISTIANS face with the SYNOPTIC GOSPELS. A further difficulty involves the question of translation. Because the QUR'N is believed to have been spoken by God its language is SACRED and considered inimitable, therefore, pious Muslims argue that it cannot be translated and only truly exists in Arabic. To the extent that English versions exist, they must be regarded as renditions rather than translations. Such an approach is taken by Marmaduke Pickthall in his The Meaning of the Glorious Qur'n (1930).