A Gateway for the Future

by Luke Gascho

Planning is a gateway for the future. A gateway creates a transition between one space and another, links from one time to another and makes possible interactions among diverse people.
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A Pilgrimage of Peace:
Literature and Conflict Studies in the Republic and Northern Ireland


Associate Professor of Peace, Justice and Conflict Studies Joe Liechty, who spent two decades involved in reconciliation work in Northern Ireland, and Associate Professor of English Ann Hostetler, a published poet, led a group of students to Ireland and Northern Ireland for several weeks
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Shoulder tapping continues

By Bethany Nussbaum ’06, Jennifer Rupp ’06 and Jodi H. Beyeler

“Indeed, the special servant has two sources for his call, commission and authority; one is God direct and one is the church.
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A pioneering woman on the faculty:

Olive G. Wyse remembered


She was the first woman in the Mennonite Church to earn a doctorate and the first woman to have a campus building named in her honor, and her favorite foods included butter horn rolls and burnt sugar angel food cake.
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Goshen College students study civil rights era during May term on storied soil

By Jennifer Rupp ’06

In Memphis, Tenn., in front of the Lorraine Hotel where Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot, Molly Moyer experienced feelings that would not have been inspired by a textbook or even watching a documentary.
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Faculty and alumni featured in latest ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ book


When bookstore browsers see the newest title in the “Chicken Soup for the Soul® series – Stories for a Better World – they will find 101 stories of love, tolerance, forgiveness and peace by a former U.S. president, Nobel Peace Prize winners and six Goshen College alumni.
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Alumna shares story of 'crocodile-approved' sustainable development in a children's book set in West Africa

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Meeting ‘Malcolm, Martin and the Mennonites’ in May

By Jodi H. Beyeler

Standing in front of a classroom of Goshen College students, Malinda Berry moved deftly between defining theological words, such as “atonement” and “theodicy,” to showing video clips of Martin Luther King Jr. at a Civil Rights march to soliciting opinions regarding interracial dating.
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Fall 2005 cover


A gateway for the future

Fall 2005

 


A Pilgrimage of Peace:
Literature and Conflict Studies in the Republic and Northern Ireland


Associate Professor of Peace, Justice and Conflict Studies Joe Liechty, who spent two decades involved in reconciliation work in Northern Ireland, and Associate Professor of English Ann Hostetler, a published poet, led a group of students to Ireland and Northern Ireland for several weeks in late May and early June for a class – which they called “a pilgrimage of peace” – combining the rich literary tradition of the island, as well as the peacemaking lessons the country has to offer. As they explored sites important to Irish history, religion and mythology, as well as reveling in the country’s beauty, the course also included a wealth of guest lecturers – including peacemakers who quoted poets, and poets who wrote about conflict in their search for a form of transcendence.

 “A professor reflects on going home”

     by Joseph Liechty

I returned to Northern Ireland with a head full of anxieties, the most salient for the course being: What would it be like to return as a tourist to the place that had been home for so long – worse yet, to return as a tour guide? And, more particularly, how would students respond to the speakers I was arranging, some sure to be presenting hard-to-stomach perspectives?


I would teach them that the skills necessary to be a peacemaker closely resemble those necessary to be a good visiting student in another country. You are not here to argue, or to make your opinions known or to express your feelings (although these might be appropriate). This doesn’t mean staying silent or avoiding hard issues; it just means that questions cannot be traps, demands or implicit arguments and certainly not weapons. Questions must be invitations, offered from a stance of respect. Whether for the sake of learning or for the sake of peace, you bracket your own feelings and judgments in order to ask those questions that will draw out the perspectives, even when distasteful to you, of people whom you need to hear and who need to be heard.

I would teach them, but would they hear? My concern was partly for the good name of Goshen College (and perhaps for my good name as well), but much more for the turmoil that inappropriate behavior from visitors can leave behind. My anxieties were only heightened when the man helping me organize our time in Portadown told me about a young American who became belligerent and sarcastic with a Protestant community worker, an ex-paramilitary with a substantial question mark over the “ex” and feared by some who had reason to know. The American teenager had her moment of righteous self-expression, but then she left, and local people remained to do the repairs. We would be talking with that same ex-paramilitary.

All my anxieties, I am happy to say, proved not merely unfounded, but completely wrong. Sharing tour guide responsibilities for these students was a consistent pleasure, above all because of how quickly and comprehensively they grasped the art of peace-directed dialogue. I sometimes marveled at how well they identified the main issues, at their success in cultivating the stance of respect that would give integrity to their explorations and then at the skillful way they framed the necessary questions. Just as impressive were those occasions when students had the self-awareness to recognize that they were approaching some internal limit, so rather than blasting off in ways that would have damaged what we were trying to do together, they stayed silent until we could discuss the issue as a group. Goshen is blessed to have such students, and they will be a blessing to the world.

Quotes from student journals…


ireland “In this pilgrimage, I have learned that in dealing with conflict, I am dealing with the spirits of people – tread carefully, my dreams are under your feet – so to speak. … I have a lot to learn about restraint and the application of conflict resolution when the conflict directly affects me – it is much easier to resolve others’ conflicts than it is one’s own. And before judging, I need to remember that every judgment is a potential nettle piercing someone else’s soul.”
– Elizabeth Smucker (Goshen), senior

“[Guest speaker Angus Cantwell] obviously had a deep understanding, love and respect for every … single … word that Yeats shared. It is a hard thing to find someone who is so attached to the poetry that simply by their sharing of this poetry they help others to understand and feel this love and respect.”
– Karis Munley (Mundelein, Ill.), sophomore, on hearing Cantwell speak about the poetry of William Butler Yeats

 “ Since my return to the States, people keep asking, ‘How was Ireland?’ I’m still not sure what to say. Ireland is so many things: beautiful, despairing, thriving, ugly, persevering, dying, hoping, growing.”
– Erin Brandeberry (Goshen), sophomore

“I have learned to ask better questions and listen to deeper answers. I have learned to be more sensitive when discussing touchy subjects and to try and understand the ‘side’ I do not agree with. I have seen the power that literature, specifically poetry, can have on a person and on a nation. And finally, I’ve been motivated to try and make a change myself.”
– Drew Horst (New Holland, Pa.), sophomore


In Belfast

I.
Here behind the city, the land lifts majestically above all else.
Along the stretch of Antrim Road reaching towards Belfast
the settled, sighing stone walls draped in yellow and green
tie the landscape to years long past….
While peace walls stand dividing
Catholic from Protestant, allowing a sense of security,
spray paint adorns the sidewalks, sorry sorry sorry
in orange white and green, sorry sorry sorry in red white and blue.

II.
In ten years I will return to sit
here in front of St. Clements
in the midst of the lush hills, looking over the city
memories of times long past
whispering in my ear.
The years will have taken me
far from this quiet splendour
and silent tension.

–Bethany Loberg (Salem, Ore.), sophomore, class poetry assignment

 ireland2


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