Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-16-2004, 11:53 PM
WeRSauron WeRSauron is offline
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Mordor, Middle-earth
Posts: 1,299
Quaking/shaking/fits in modern religious services?

Quakers and Shakers, if I remember correctly, were so called because of their tendency (at least in the early part of their history) to go into convulsions during times of worship - quaking or shaking out of fear, reverence, or being touched by the Spirit, et cetera.

This phenomenon occurs today in some Pentacostal services, when a person is considered to be full of the Holy Spirit.

Are there any other religious movements in whose services such acts may or do occur?

We remain,
By the Grace of MELKOR: the Dark Lord of Middle-earth, the Lord of the Rings, the Flaming Eye, the Nine-Fingered Sovereign, the Chief of the Maiar, the Challenger of the Valar, the Terror of All Sentient Beings, Lover of Truffles and Dainty Chocolates.
Old 12-17-2004, 12:24 AM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 24,534
My understanding is that some hybridized religions which include imported African beliefs (I'm thinking of Santeria and voudoun) include "fits" as signs of posession by various beings. I don't practice any of these religions and am no kind of expert, but maybe somebody else is more knowledgeable.
Old 12-17-2004, 12:31 AM
WeRSauron WeRSauron is offline
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Mordor, Middle-earth
Posts: 1,299
Ah, well I suppose the phenomenon can be described as a sign of posession - by the Holy Spirit in the case of Christian movements.

I have not been to a large ceremony where one is supposed to become possessed (although I did attend a small gathering in honor of a woman being crowned with Yemaya (maferefun Yemaya!) - one person seemed to have become possessed, but possessions were not the point at this gathering so they sat her down until she recovered).

Vodun, Candomble, Palo, Santeria, Ifa, other Afro-genous movements, et cetera, I know have elements of possession.

Any others?

Old 12-17-2004, 09:55 AM
Bites When Provoked Bites When Provoked is offline
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,801
I'm sure there are; the lunatics aren't considerate enough to stick to one single faith so we'd know who to avoid.

If I sound bitchy, it's because I really have a severe hatred on for this kind of thing. The church that victimised my friend who suffers from a mild form of Tourette's (just twitching, no foul language), telling him he was sick, evil, doomed to hell eternal, unclean, and needed to be exorcised, was heavily into this crap as well.

As far as I'm concerned the 'talking in tongues' was the least insane thing in that church, however I reckon any church that goes in for that kind of thing has outed itself as either being a cult or at the very least a gathering point for religious crazies.
Old 12-17-2004, 10:56 AM
Ruken Ruken is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: May 2003
Location: DC
Posts: 5,880
I have seen no quaking at the Quaker meetings that I have attended.
Old 12-17-2004, 11:54 AM
kelly5078 kelly5078 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 3,020
The origin of the name "Quaker" is obscure.

From wikipedia:
There are two stories for where the name Quaker came from. The first is that it was an insult. George Fox reported in his journal that, in 1650, on one of the many times he was arrested, Justice Bennet of Derby "first called us Quakers because we bid them tremble at the word of God." The second story is that Friends were observed to tremble from the emotion of providing ministry to their meeting, and were therefore termed Quakers.
Fox was greatly persecuted during his lifetime and imprisoned many times. Once, when he was hauled into court, he suggested that the judge "tremble at the word of the Lord". The judge sarcastically referred to Fox as a Quaker; the term stuck, and has become the popular name for the Religious Society of Friends.
Times change, of course, but Quakers seem like a pretty sane lot to me, so I'd tend to go with the "judge" explanation.
Old 12-17-2004, 03:29 PM
Spongemom Spongemom is offline
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 495
When I was younger, maybe about 7 or 8, I was forced to go to church by my father. Mainly to get me and my siblings out of his hair so he could do his drugs in peace....but I digress.

The people at this church were insane, I tell you. Pentecostal, btw. Every day, a group of them would line up at the front, the (father? pastor? preacher?) would rub some funky smelling oil on their foreheads, and they would fall to the floor in convulsions. I thought they were dying, as no one explained to me why they were doing a croppy flop on the floor. Then they would get up after about 5 minutes, and say that God had spoken to them. Well, this wasn't a good enough answer for me, so I asked a few of them what "He" had said, and boy was that the wrong move. They would get royally PISSED at me for asking that, and tell me it was none of my business. Which led me to the conclusion that they were liars. If a God spoke to me, I'd be happy about it at least! These people freaked the fuck out when I asked them about what happened during their seizures. So my opinion on the whole spastic episode was that it was a load of crap. My 2 cents.
Old 12-17-2004, 04:17 PM
WeRSauron WeRSauron is offline
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Mordor, Middle-earth
Posts: 1,299
No, Quakers and Shakers don't go into convulsions today. But they may have in their very early history. Such phenomenon are neither rare nor common.

Does "holy rollers" refer to people who experience such phenomenon?



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:51 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to:

Send comments about this website to:

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to:

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

Copyright © 2017