Quakers share a way of life rather than a set of beliefs. We seek to experience God directly, within ourselves and in our relationships with others and the world around us. These direct encounters with the Divine are where Quakers find meaning and purpose in their lives.
The Quaker way has its roots in Christianity and finds inspiration in the Bible and the life and teachings of Jesus. We also find meaning and value in the teachings of other faiths and acknowledge that ours is not the only way.
Our focus is on our experience rather than written statements of belief. Our sense of community does not depend on professing identical beliefs, but from worshipping, sharing and working together.
Not all our beliefs are so diverse. Some of our spiritual insights, which we call our testimonies, spring from deep experience and have been reaffirmed by successive generations of Quakers. These testimonies are to truth, equality, simplicity and peace. You can find out more about these testimonies, and how we live them out in our day-to-day lives, by reading our introduction to Quaker faith and action.
There is a great diversity within the Quakers on conceptions of God, and we use different kinds of language to describe religious experience. Some Quakers have a conception of God which is similar to that of orthodox Christians, and would use similar language. Others are happy to use God-centred language, but would conceive of God in very different terms to the traditional Christian trinity.
Some describe themselves as agnostics, or humanists, or non-theists and describe their experiences in ways that avoid the use of the word God entirely. Quaker faith is built on experience and Quakers would generally hold that it is the spiritual experience which is central to Quaker worship, and not the use of a particular form of words (whether that be "God" or anything else).
You can find out more about Quaker beliefs and attitudes by reading Advices & Queries, which give a flavour of the Quaker approach to life. The book many Quakers refer to and use on a regular basis is Quaker Faith and Practice, which provides an excellent grounding in our spiritual tradition and way of worship. It's also filled with some very human experiences and insights too!