Jones, Rufus Matthew (1863-1948)
Rufus Matthew Jones, b. 25 January 1863, d. 16 June 1948, was the leading worldwide Quaker spirit within the Society of Friends in his time. He wrote more than 50 books and 600 articles. In 1917 he founded with others, the American Friends Service Committee, whose relief work in Europe attracted Mennonite cooperation. This in turn helped give birth to the Mennonite Central Committee in 1920. In the 1930s Jones helped shape the historic peace church movement and Civilian Public Service. Harold S. Bender, in his "Anabaptist Vision" article (1944), accepted Jones' interpretation of Anabaptism at several points: Jones' typology, introducing his essay on Hans Denck (Spiritual Reformers in the 16th and 17th Centuries, 1914), and Jones' assessment of Anabaptism as a movement, in his chapter, "The Anabaptists" (Studies in Mystical Religion, 1909). Jones' emphasis on the mystical dimension of the Quaker faith has drawn some scholarly criticism. (For an interpretation of this, see Douglas Gwyn, Apocalypse of the Word: The Life and Message of George Fox [Richmond, IN: Friends United Press, 1986], xiii-xxiii.)
Hinshaw, David. Rufus Jones: Master Quaker. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1951; reprint, Arno Press, 1974.
Vining, Elizabeth (Gray). Friend of Life: The Biography of Rufus M. Jones. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1958.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 467. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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