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

 


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.

malinda Berry ’96 – a doctoral student at Union Theological Seminary (UTS) in New York City – returned to her alma mater to teach a special course, “Malcolm, Martin and the Mennonites,” during Goshen’s three-week May term when students concentrate on one class. As she wove together religious, historical and sociological issues, Berry said, “I am bringing forth issues I care about in a community I care about.”


Berry highlighted the differing responses of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X to racism and oppression based on contrasting life experiences that led to King’s acceptance as a venerated American icon transcending race and the ownership of Malcolm X as a hero mostly among black Americans. After examining the two men’s lives, Berry expanded the course conversation to include the broader issues of racial identity and racism, and how they connected with theological themes, such as violence, suffering, abuse and forgiveness.

Anabaptist peace theology and Mennonite responses to racism were also discussed. “Both King and Malcolm X agreed that the way the world is isn’t the way the world should be. And that we are called to help make the world what it ought to be, which many Mennonites have come to agree with as well,” she said. “I see this class as a form of witnessing.”

Providing students with exposure to these complex issues and increasing their understanding of them were at the top of Berry’s goals for the class. “For many of the students, this is the first time that they had seen or heard Malcolm X, when I showed them video of him,” she said. She also showed footage of King beyond his “I have a dream” speech, a riveting sermon that represents only a fraction of his public messages.

Jessica Buller (So., Goshen) said, “I grew up knowing a lot about MLK, but I didn’t know much about Malcolm X. Through this class I have learned a lot about who he was and what he represented. I have come to respect him and his objectives, even if I don’t agree with him on everything.”

Berry, a graduate of Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, first taught the course three years ago when she was asked to develop a course for Goshen College’s Bible and religion department. In teaching the course a second time, Berry’s topic drew twice as many students, and a third of the students were persons of color. “As a student here, I had never been in a class with that many other persons of color,” she said, adding, “It is important for white students to reflect on what it means to be white too. This isn’t just a class for black people.”

As a past Goshen College student, a Mennonite and a person of color, the issues discussed in her class weren’t merely theoretical. She has used her knowledge of her students and her training to fully engage each class. “I am being trained as a theologian and I am able to open up theological questions and issues in a different way because of it,” she said. “And I tell them stories, which triggers their own stories.”

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