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  • Thomas Raymond Kelly was an American Quaker educator. He taught and wrote on the subject of mysticism. His books are widely read, especially by people interested in spirituality. Kelly was born in 1893 in Ohio to a Quaker family. The branch of Quakerism in which he was raised had been influenced by the 19th century revivalists and worship services were similar to other low-church Protestant groups. He graduated in 1913 from Wilmington College as a chemistry major. Then he went to Haverford College just outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he came under the mentoring of Rufus Jones, a prominent Friend. It was at this time that he came into contact with the more traditional mystical vein of the Religious Society of Friends. Kelly went to Hartford Theological Seminary to be trained as a missionary and he desired to serve in Asia. When World War I broke out, he signed up to work for the YMCA with the troops in training at Salisbury Plain. He eventually worked with German prisoners of war. He was fired as he and many of his colleagues became ardent pacifists and the military did not want persons with those views to have access to military personnel.

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