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FCRP GENERAL INFORMATION

The Friends Conference on Religion and Psychology, which takes place over Memorial Day weekend, is a Philadelphia-based, nonprofit Quaker organization that first met in 1943.

The seeds of the conference were sown before the war in a number of Quaker study groups spread around the Eastern seaboard which focused on the relevance of depth psychology—and the psychology of C.G. Jung in particular—as a means of spiritual growth and grounding in this world.  The silent worship of Quakers in which Friends “center down” and open to the spirit, and the Jungian process of exploring the material and “messages” from the unconscious through dreams, creative work, and active imagination appeared to compliment and even mirror one another.  The practices seemed to interweave and support one another.

Since the earliest conferences, guest speakers have been invited to help open new doors into this experience.  Not all speakers have been Jungians or Quakers.  The tradition of small "break-out" groups in which participants process and integrate the material from the plenaries also dates back to the beginning of FCRP.

The weekend’s plenary speaker or speakers generally offer four talks on the conference theme.  Past keynote speakers have included:  Joseph Campbell, Bill Plotkin, Donald Kalsched, Joanna Macy, Marion Woodman, Robert Bly, D.T. Suzuki, Ira Progoff, Lionel Corbett, Mathew Fox, M. C. Richards, and many, many others.  You can see a complete list of all of FCRP past plenary speakers and past conference topics here.

The interest groups also generally meet four times, giving members an opportunity to explore the plenary material personally and at some depth.  Interest groups have included:  reflective writing; personal myth exploration; intuitive poetry; family constellation work; body work; Tai Chi; Quigong; journal writing and painting; and dream sharing.  The process that unfolds within these small "growth" groups—with its ups and downs and insights—is an important part of the FCRP experience.