Biblical Concordance of the Swiss Brethren, 1540. Anabaptist Texts in Translation, vol. 2. Translated by Gilbert Fast and Galen A. Peters, introduction by Joe Springer, edited by C. Arnold Snyder. Kitchener, Ont., and Scottdale, Pa.: Pandora Press and Herald Press. 2001. Pp. lv + 227. $23, U.S.; $25, Can.
Sources of South German/Austrian Anabaptism. Classics of the Radical Reformation, vol. 10. Translated by Walter Klaassen, Frank Friesen and Werner O. Packull, edited with an introduction by C. Arnold Snyder. Kitchener, Ont., and Scottdale, Pa.: Pandora Press and Herald Press. 2001. Pp. li + 429. $40, U.S.; $50, Can.
These two volumes are the latest additions to two distinguished series of Anabaptist sources in English translation, and both maintain the high standards set by earlier volumes. They include readable yet accurate translations of important sources and extensive explanatory materials, including detailed introductions, valuable bibliographic references and comprehensive indexes.
The Biblical Concordance of the Swiss Brethren is a topical collection of biblical texts, compiled between 1529 and 1540, which may have circulated in manuscript and was eventually published. At least fourteen German editions and one Dutch edition appeared between 1540 and 1710-among Swiss Brethren publications only the Ausbund rivals it in the number of editions published, and bibliographic evidence suggests that the Hutterites made use of it as well. This popularity makes the concordance a valuable resource for studying the history of the Swiss Brethren and other Anabaptist traditions as well. Its topical organization and the simplicity of its structure provide insights not only into how the Swiss Brethren read the Bible, but also how they proselytized and instructed new members. In his general introduction to the volume, Arnold Snyder draws parallels between the topical organization of the concordance and that of Anabaptist prison testimonies to highlight the oral/aural nature of early Swiss Brethren culture and communication. He also argues that the choice of topics in the concordance and the selection of the biblical texts assigned to those topics provide a glimpse into the theological and spiritual heart of Anabaptism.
A valuable complement to the image of early Anabaptism provided by the Swiss Brethren concordance is that presented in Sources of South German/Austrian Anabaptism. This volume contains translations of thirty-four documents or parts of documents illustrating the origins and development of Anabaptism in South Central Europe. Traditionally treated as a minor, and in some cases eccentric, variation on the dominant Anabaptist theme embodied by the Swiss Brethren and Mennonites, the Anabaptism of South Germany, Austria and Moravia has come into its own as a subject of historical study in recent years. This collection further enshrines South German/Austrian Anabaptism in the mainstream of Anabaptist studies. It focuses especially on documents from the earlier history of the movement. But even here the collection of texts is far from comprehensive. For example, the works of such prominent Anabaptists as Hans Hut, Leonhard Schiemer and Hans Schlaffer are represented by at most one or two sources each. The compilers of the volume have avoided including texts that are available in translation elsewhere, but in addition the sheer volume of sources available meant that the collection had to be more representative than comprehensive. Despite this fact, a wide variety of types of sources are included: edifying treatises and letters, prison documents, hymns, both refutations and defenses of the movement by non-Anabaptists and an eclectic hodgepodge of other documents illustrative of the history of the movement. The resulting volume presents a picture not only of the theological, but also the social, history of Anabaptism in South Central Europe in the sixteenth century.
Both the introductory narrative and the selection of documents included in Sources of South German/Austrian Anabaptism chronicle the development of this branch of Anabaptism through the sixteenth century. Its origins are traced to the contexts of radical reform and social upheaval in the early years of the century. The introduction emphasizes the importance of late medieval mystical themes and traditions, especially as mediated by Thomas Mntzer and Andreas Karlstadt, for the theological roots of this branch of early Anabaptism. The key transitional figures from the Saxon Radicals to later Anabaptists, Hans Denck and Hans Hut, are acknowledged in the introduction, but seriously underrepresented in the source collection-one of Hut's works is included and none of Denck's. However, the inclusion of representative writings by a number of Hut's disciples or converts, including Ambrosius Spitalmaier, Leonhard Schiemer, Hans Schlaffer, Eitelhans Langenmantel and Hans Nadler, is clear testimony to his importance for the subsequent movement.
Included among the documents from the early years are non-Anabaptist sources that establish the context for subsequent developments within the movement. Jrg Haugk von Jchsen's A Christian Order of a True Christian, with its emphasis on individual suffering, regeneration and the emergence of a new life in the believer, sets the stage for the growth of a distinctive South German/Austrian Anabaptist theology emphasizing Gelassenheit, or yieldedness, which is then illustrated in a variety of documents, including testimonies, prison writings, letters and hymns. Parallel to these theological developments there emerged the enduring communal Anabaptism of Moravia arising from the short-term apocalyptic hopes associated with the failure of the Peasants' War. This process is marked at one end by Hans Hergot's Concerning the New Transformation of Christian Living and at the other end by the strictly regulated communalism of the Hutterites. Although the writings of prominent Hutterite elders such as Peter Riedemann and Peter Walpot are not included in this volume, the testimonies, letters and hymns that are included provide valuable glimpses into the lives and experiences of individual Hutterites.
Together, these two volumes paint a picture of Anabaptism as an integral yet independent stream in the European Reformation. The Biblical Concordance of the Swiss Brethren provides a valuable insight into how the new Protestant vernacular Bibles were mediated to the populace of early modern Europe. Even more obvious is the connection established between the beginnings of South German/Austrian Anabaptism and the popular Reformation. By tracing the roots of this tradition to the theology of the Radical Reformers and the social visions of the Peasants' War, Sources of South German/Austrian Anabaptism emphasizes the central place of this movement in the Reformation as a whole. At the same time, these documents point to the independence of early Anabaptism from the magisterial Reformation. The medieval mystical roots of the theology of Anabaptism in South Central Europe, no less than the nature of biblical reading embodied in the Swiss Brethren concordance, point to the place of Anabaptism in religious traditions and practices that was much older than the Reformation.
With their focus on documents by lesser known and influential Anabaptists and their avoidance of the works of the movements' leaders, these two volumes provide us with valuable insights into the social history of the movements and are useful complements to the usual translations of those "bright lights." They also encapsulate well the current state of research into the history of Anabaptism. Together they reaffirm the validity of the polygenesis model of Anabaptist beginnings while at the same time illustrating the more recent emphasis in Anabaptist studies on the interactions between Anabaptist groups after their distinct beginnings.
Augustana College GEOFFREY DIPPLE
From Radicals to Survivors: Strasbourg's Religious Nonconformists Over Two Generations 1525-1570. By John D. Derksen. 't Goy-Houten: Hes & de Graaf, 2002. Pp. 294. ? 143,10.
Strasbourg has always held a special place in the history of the Radical Reformation. For over two decades a city of sanctuary for leaders of the Anabaptist movement, Strasbourg's relative toleration for religious unorthodoxy was notable. John Derksen's From Radicals to Survivors takes an in-depth look at who these radicals were, their beliefs and their connection to the wider world. Drawing heavily on the fundamental source for this topic, the Quellen zur Geschichte der Tufer: Elsass III. & IV. Teil, Derksen traces each known or suspected nonconformist to show the community's depth, diversity and interconnectedness. His book, although heavy in detail and lighter on overall analysis, should be a gold mine of material for anyone interested in this subject.
The book progresses chronologically, occasionally overlapping periods with some repetition, and outlines the changing social makeup of the radicals, the Protestant regime's treatment of them (and how it evolved from relative acceptance to persecution by 1535) and the development of the radical program from one of vitality and social protest to one focused more on merely surviving. Radicals first appeared in Strasbourg around 1524 and included a diverse mix of local elites, intellectuals, artisans, evangelical reformers and clerics. They were united in their desire for a more complete reformation, including a focus on socioeconomic injustices and deeper personal involvement in religious matters. The Peasants' War of 1525, however, fractured this unity and led to a tripartite split between sectarians, spiritualists and those preaching the apocalypse. This split (and the fears the peasants engendered) led to a change in the social constitution of the radicals. The local and elite elements faded away and by 1529 the leadership was controlled primarily by foreign artisans.
As more people flocked to Strasbourg, the theology radicalized, preparing the way for the apocalypticism of Melchior Hoffman. Hoffman arrived in the city in 1529 and urged the radicals into more public acts of worship. He petitioned the council for their own church in 1530, leading to his arrest. Despite his incarceration the Strasbourg radical population grew (Derksen claims as much as one-fifth of the population was Anabaptist between 1530-1532, although how he arrives at this number is unclear), straining the magistrate's forbearance. As the radicals engaged in more public displays of faith, the initial tolerance of the council turned to suspicion and finally persecution. The radicals were then forced to switch from an offensive theology (based on the coming apocalypse) toward a more defensive strategy (focused on basic survival). Their position further weakened with the Synod of 1533 and the Ecclesiastical and Disciplinary Ordinances of 1534 and 1535, which established a more unified Reformation in the city, excluding radicals and other nonconformists.
Derksen sees the events of 1533-1535 as the major turning point. Even though Strasbourg was still far more lenient than other areas (preferring exile to execution), the radicals were forced underground after 1535 as persecution and attacks increased. There followed a significant change in their character and place in society (begun in 1525 but solidified by 1535). Where once the community had been intellectual, local, elite, tolerated and influential, after 1535 it became increasingly uneducated, foreign, artisan and persecuted, with no influence. There was a slight recovery in the 1540s (and radicals could be found in the city throughout the century), but the community in Strasbourg would never again attain those pre-1535 heights, in either numbers or respect.
One of the book's most interesting (and interpretive) chapters focuses on Wangen, a rural territory of Strasbourg under the jurisdiction of the female abbey St. Stephen. Derksen shows how religious dissidents there came to dominate village discourse, both politically and religiously, with larger consequences. Wangen became involved in the battle over jurisdiction between the Abbess of St. Stephen (Anna von Schellenberg) and the Strasbourg city council. Each side's desire for more control, as well as hostility toward the other's religion, was intimately linked with attacks on any unorthodoxy or rebellion in Wangen. Thus, the radicals became pawns of larger struggles over authority. This chapter nicely shows the interconnection between politics and religion and the complicated nature of dispersed governance in the Holy Roman Empire.
Derksen's study includes a prodigious amount of core data on the Strasbourg radicals (the index alone is a treasure trove of names and subjects for anyone working in the field), yet it needed more critical discourse. For instance, his suggestion that the radical threat helped consolidate power in the hands of the council (as opposed to the clergy) is an important one, but needed to be more fully analyzed. Were the radicals integral to that process or not? Even before the Reformation, the Strasbourg council showed every sign that it intended to control the direction of religious reform in its city, over and above the clergy, and long before any radical appeared. I also wanted more on the council's motivations for toleration. Clearly the magistrates were concerned with public order, as Derksen states, but how did they reconcile their religious beliefs with the seeming unorthodoxy all around them? Derksen mentions the survival of Catholicism in the city, but does not sufficiently pursue this comparison. Why were Catholics tolerated longer than the radicals? The Catholic survival was probably connected to their more private behavior. As the radicals increasingly agitated for more public freedom to worship they further alienated the city council, as seen by Hoffman's arrest. Derksen's conclusion does address some of these and other larger questions, but one wishes he had spent more time doing this throughout the book.
The research here needed to be connected to other recent historiographical trends. The book is curiously old-fashioned in its outlook and bibliography and has few citations to Reformation scholarship of the last two decades. His review of the "recent" literature for Strasbourg in fact dates primarily from the 1960s and 1970s. He neglects the latest (and relevant) works of Thomas Brady, Miriam Chrisman, Francis Rapp and Lee Wandel. In particular, James Kittelson's Toward an Established Church (Mainz, 2000) provides a good counterpoint to some of his arguments, although perhaps it was not available in time for this publication.
There were other gaps in the historiographical context. It is rare today for a book on the Reformation in Germany not to at least mention confessionalization. The confessionalization thesis, which charts the development of distinct religiously oriented cultures in cooperation with the early modern state, fits well with this topic. Although confessionalization is concerned primarily with Catholic, Lutheran and Reformed traditions, it is possible that the persecution of Anabaptists by both state and church served as an impetus to the development of more coherent and rigid confessional lines. More frustrating than the absence of confessionalization, however, is the lack of any gender analysis, when the material clearly calls out for it. On numerous occasions Derksen cites the important contribution and role of women within the radical movement, from female prophets, to strong supporters of Anabaptists like Katharine Zell, to the large proportion of women among the acolytes. Yet Derksen does not speculate on the reasons for this female participation. Did the radicals offer more voice and authority to women than the more traditional confessions? (Certainly not in Mnster, where Jan von Leiden's introduction of polygamy and decapitation of his wife were not hallmarks of a female-friendly religion). Was their message something that appealed especially to women? Derksen's scholarship on the individuals and theologies associated with the Radical Reformation is impressive and above reproach; I only wish there had been more context and interpretation.
Georgetown University AMY E. LEONARD
Obedient Heretics: Mennonite Identities in Lutheran Hamburg and Altona during the Confessional Age. By Michael D. Driedger. St. Andrews Studies in Reformation History. Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate Publishing Co. 2002. Pp. 224. $99.95.
In addition to his synoptic, narrative treatment of the Mennonite congregation in Hamburg and Altona titled Zuflucht und Koexistenz. 400 Jahre Mennoniten in Hamburg und Altona (Bolanden-Weierhof, 2001), Michael Driedger has produced this second, detailed monograph on the history of this community in the seventeenth century. A reworked dissertation, it is solidly founded on an exhaustive and careful analysis of the abundant archival resources in Germany and the Netherlands, especially the Staatsarchiv Hamburg, and for this reason alone it is worthy of our attention.
But in addition this learned study also offers a new model for the historical analysis of the socioreligious life of Mennonites (and other religious minorities) in the post-Reformation era, superseding the older historiographical tradition. Several related considerations have led to this new model. First, Anabaptist studies have concentrated heretofore on the heroic figures and events of the sixteenth century, with subsequent developments having been relatively neglected or else falsely viewed in terms of their faithfulness to or backsliding from the "standards" set by their forebears. Second, these communities have usually been viewed merely in an idealized opposition to the dominant social and political forces of the majority cultures, among whom Mennonites were resigned to a reclusive life as the "Stille im Lande," a typification that ignores their growing participation in the social and economic life of society at large.
In order both to reveal how north German Mennonites of the seventeenth century were confronted with issues that had not existed at the time of Anabaptist origins and to clarify their relationships to host communities, Driedger applies the concept of confessionalism or confessionalization that has been developed by historians of the early modern age. But he gives the concept a new twist, since the proponents of this paradigm of confession-building and confessional identity in post-Reformation Europe have argued that the intellectual and organizational entrenchment of a certain Christian ideology occurred only where one of the major confessions-Lutheranism, Calvinism or Roman Catholicism-came to political dominance. Whereas the term Konfessionalisierung postulates that religious institutionalization and political stabilization constituted and sustained each other mutually, in Driedger's version Mennonites accepted and supported the established political order while maintaining their religious nonconformism in a quasi-confessionalist form (81).
One could hardly find a better example than Hamburg/Altona to demonstrate how Mennonite leaders might employ a "confessionalist strategy" to maintain religious uniformity and social discipline in an urban context. The congregation throve economically far beyond the measure of most central European Anabaptist communities, not only because its members played a key role in international trade and shipping but also because they could use the international border between Danish Altona and German Hamburg to their advantage. The threat to withdraw their economic involvement and tax payments beyond the pale always hung in the air, should their religious practices no longer be tolerated. In return-and again, in this respect Hamburg's congregation differed greatly from most German Mennonites-they permitted and even fostered a high degree of cultural accommodation within their ranks.
However, Driedger does not emphasize the motivation behind a confessionalist strategy so much as gather evidence for it. He gives attention to four key areas of Mennonite belief and practice: confessions of faith, pacifism (nonresistance), the refusal of solemn oaths and church discipline. On the basis of these observations, he argues that Hamburg Mennonites were motivated to develop something like a confessional community, bounded by clear definitions of orthodoxy and by the application of internal church discipline. Just as confessionalization among the dominant churches took place in reaction to political disputes, so also the internal conflicts among the Mennonites (between the Flemish and the Dompelaars) and their struggle with the Lutheran state church in the seventeenth century "played key roles in the development of Mennonite identity, for the conflicts helped set 'us/them' boundaries" (173).
This observation leads to a general thesis on "fixed versus flexible standards of identity": the demand for confessional identity was greatest when issues of faith became matters of civic dispute. Hence, a group's identity as a distinctive, religious whole was stated most clearly and was held to be immutable only in times of public controversy. The corollary holds as well, and ought to receive more attention: strict standards of behavior aimed at reinforcing group cohesion were unnecessary in times of confessional peace. Boundaries became blurred, distinctions weaker. That does not mean that faith became less important in times of prosperity: "The concept of flexible standards of identity points only to the periodically diminishing importance of strictly defined confessional religious standards" (177). Only in times of strife were Mennonites of the confessional age (and indeed other Christians as well) confronted by the obligation to measure themselves against strict confessional standards.
Several problems in this book need to be mentioned. Driedger emphasizes that church elders like Gerrit Roosen worked together with Dutch Anabaptists to codify definitive confessional statements, and claims that this effort was the clearest sign of the formation of Mennonite confessionalism (74). However, the fact that other Anabaptist groups resisted such formulations (claiming that not confessional statements but the Bible ought to determine doctine and ceremony) shows that one can speak only of a limited confessionalist sphere. Indeed, one cannot speak of Mennonite confessionalism among Prussian or South German congregations. Furthermore, a significant number of voices pleaded for a rejection of confessionalist forms of church life (like the Collegiant Galenus Abrahamsz, who was allowed to preach in Altona in 1678)-a phenomenon that was not tolerated by ecclesiastical authorities in the major confessions.
The further discussion is weakened by several omissions. The discussion of mixed marriages only mentions efforts to maintain an endogamous community. But of the "dangers" of boutentrouw (external marriage) was that the confessionally dominant church could legally claim the progeny of such pairs as theirs. (Were marriages of older couples treated differently, if no children could issue from them?) One should also mention explicitly that mixed marriages in which the partner adopted Mennonite faith and baptism amounted to proselytization, which was illegal. One odd omission is that Driedger does not state why Mennonites of the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries found it necessary to emphasize the link between nonresistance and political obedience (128). The reason is that conscientious objection was generally viewed as identical with political rebellion, an act of insurrection against secular and ecclesiastical authority. (Driedger does mention this point in the context of the chapter on swearing oaths.)
Finally, a leading question for additional research: could it be that the confessionally organized Lutherans pressured the Hamburg Mennonites to organize themselves in a fashion similar to themselves? Urban cultures in general were willing to tolerate such dissident religious communities only if they manifested a clear ecclesiastical hierarchy, formulated unobjectionable confessions of faith and avoided intermarriage. A fruitful basis for further analysis of the development of Mennonite faith might be comparing those congregations willing to confessionalize with those that sought to uphold spiritualist principles or religio-political independence.
Philosophisches Seminar, Universitt Mainz JAMES JAKOB FEHR
The Swiss Reformation. By Bruce Gordon. New York: Manchester University Press. 2002. Pp. xxiv, 368. $29.95.
Gordon has written an impressive, panoramic overview of the Swiss Reformation and of the Swiss Reformation era extending to the appearance of the Second Helvetic Confession of 1566. It is focused on the life and culture of the Reformed Church, excluding Swiss Catholicism entirely, and devoting a single, compact thirty-seven-page chapter to "The radical challenge." Nevertheless, it is profitable reading for anyone interested in Swiss Anabaptism, based as it is upon up-to-date, thorough mastery of the extensive interpretive literature on sixteenth-century Switzerland and the Swiss Reformed Church. After an introductory chapter on the Swiss Confederation before the Reformation, almost half the text is devoted to the history of the Swiss Reformed movement; then, following the chapter on the radicals, come chapters on the institutional structure of the Reformed church, its nexus with sixteenth-century Swiss society, the extensive network of international influence of the Swiss Reformed and the explosion of Renaissance culture occasioned by the Swiss Reformation.
The author is insistent upon the strategic power of personalities: "This book is unapologetic in its view that Huldrych Zwingli was the dominant force in the Swiss Reformation: without his vision, his preaching, his theological profundity and dexterity, and his political acumen, there would have been no Reformation in the Swiss Confederation" (142-43). Heinrich Bullinger is of almost equal importance, since his personal qualities alone maintained the force of the Swiss Reformed Church and its influence in many parts of Europe after the disaster of the Second Kappel War. The book, however, is by no means Zurich-oriented-the cultural domination of Basle and the political pre-eminence of Berne in Reformed Switzerland are always kept in view. In fact, the two great leaders of the Zurich church are presented as the major countervailing forces against the tendency towards lay political domination of the Reformed Church. In both Berne and Basle strong Lutheran elements contended with the Zwinglian heritage; and one gets the impression that a non-Lutheran Reformation survived in the Confederation in part because of Luther's incapacity for any compromise with, or civility towards, the Zurich church.
In his treatment of both Swiss Reformed and Swiss Anabaptists, Gordon insists upon the independent causal force of the religious impulse. Not only were the Anabaptists a minority; the Reformed, too, were a minority with above-average learning and social influence who imposed themselves upon the population at large. The mercenary soldiers and the pensioners who recruited them, the struggle for political influence between patricians and guildsmen, the social unrest in the countryside and the struggle between the cities and their rural subjects are all taken into account. Such factors conditioned the Reformation; but the Reformation is never reduced to them. Nor is the religious factor in the Swiss Reformation reduced to theology. The shadow of Erasmus is never absent from Gordon's account of the Zwinglian Reformation. Still, as has often been said of the Swiss Anabaptists, the Swiss Reformed fully subscribed to Luther's justification by faith but insisted upon its application to civic life in a way that Luther never did. Gordon sees the Swiss Reformed as rejecting medieval Catholicism more thoroughly and trenchantly than Luther did. His Swiss Reformed were more clerical, more socially established enemy brothers of the Swiss Anabaptists-and their tragic conflict a product of the ferocious zeal of the early Reformation.
Queen's University JAMES M. STAYER
The Forgotten Writings of the Mennonite Martyrs. Kerkhistorische Bijdragen, XVIII, Documenta Anabaptistica Neerlandica VIII. Edited by Brad S. Gregory. Leiden, Boston: Brill. 2002. Pp. 403. $149; ? 119.
Scholars of Anabaptism are already indebted to Brad Gregory for his major study of martyrdom in early modern Europe, Salvation at Stake. In it, he has not only carefully assembled a wide range of information and analyzed it fairly, but he has also asserted the value of a religious viewpoint in understanding religious history. If we can see sixteenth-century church history only though a twenty-first century worldview, we are parochial indeed. Gregory has called this a "self-indulgent presentism."
As a kind of spin-off from Salvation at Stake, Gregory has produced The Forgotten Writings of the Mennonite Martyrs, for which we are also grateful. One of the real problems facing scholars of Anabaptism is the need to consult rare and expensive volumes, held by a few university libraries scattered in North America and Western Europe. Gregory helps relieve this situation with his new volume, The Forgotten Writings, reprinting writings from rare Anabaptist booklets, some of which survive only in a single copy.
In the nine main sections of The Forgotten Writings Gregory gives us access to new letters and songs of authors whose writings have long been known from the pages of the Martyrs Mirror. These sections focus on four Dutch and five Flemish martyrs, drawing on printed works published at Delft, Leeuwarden, Haarlem and Amsterdam, all in The Netherlands, none in Flanders.
The martyrs whose writings are here reproduced in the Dutch language are Hendrick Alewijnsz, Jacob de Roore, Thijs Joriaensz, Joos Verkindert, Hendrick Verstralen, Jan Woutersz van Cuyck, Reytse Ayssesz and Christiaen Rijcen. Letters written to Bartolomeus Pantyn also are given. The materials are arranged chronologically by martyr from 1568 through 1592. Here are theological treatises (for example, by Hendrick Alewijnsz and Thijs Joriaensz) as well as letters revealing the religious and social context of the writers. In an introduction of around thirty pages Gregory gives helpful background and indicates the challenge these writings present to scholars for further study.
Gregory's introduction assigns prominence to Hans de Ries as an editor of the Martyrs Mirror; however, it may be possible to overemphasize de Ries as a shaper of that volume. All of the editors of the eleven printings of the Mennonite martyr book through 1599 had their influence, and then, of course, Hans de Ries with his work in the 1615 and 1631 editions. But Pieter Twisck in his 1626 Hoorn edition reversed some of what de Ries did in 1615, and added other martyrs, including the important testimony of Dirk Willems, and the Thirty-three Article Confession of Faith. Piet Visser (in Broeders in de geest) has pointed out that Jan Philipsz Schabaelje was also a great influence on the 1631 edition, evidently having written the two striking and important introductions to that volume.
In 1660 Thieleman van Braght added the "new book" to the front of the Martyrs Mirror, one third of the book as we now have it, and also introduced new martyr material and the records of death sentences freshly gathered from official sources. To the 1685 edition Jan Luyken contributed his important illustrations, and there were numerous additions of new material about persecution by some anonymous Mennonite editor, who is presumed to have worked alongside the ten Reformed financers of that edition. So, all in all, the Martyrs Mirror is the production of a number of Anabaptist editors, giving witness (Zeugnis) to the history of the martyrs, truly a brotherhood effort spread over more than a century of time.
There are a few minor typographical problems in The Forgotten Writings (e.g., the year 1571 should be 1570 on pp. vi and 203). Also, Gregory says that the Martyrs Mirror prints only four letters of Reytse Ayssesz, whereas there are perhaps eight.
An English language index is provided. A comparison of alternative readings from the different printed editions is done in the footnotes. Also, some help is given with archaic Dutch, but more explanatory material on difficult words and on the individual martyrs would have been quite suitable. Yet we are grateful to have access to this new material.
I want to look at the value of just two of the nine sections in Gregory's book. In the section devoted to Hendrick Alewijnsz there are nine writings by that martyr, who at times employs striking, unexpected applications of Scripture. One writing treats the separation between the Christian and the world. Another writing states well the Anabaptist case for adult baptism, and concludes with an interesting parable. Another brief writing Alewijnsz has addressed to his three young, motherless children. These beautiful pages, written to a son and two daughters soon to become orphans, rival the jewel of a letter that Anna of Rotterdam wrote to her infant son, Isaiah. Alewijnsz seems to have a clearer idea of the orphans' future than Anna did of Isaiah's, when he tells them strikingly, "The obedience of servants is a teaching of angels. Gen. 16:9."
Another section of Gregory's book is devoted to Reytse Ayssesz who already appears in the pages of the Martyrs Mirror as an especially lively, articulate young man, whose command of Scripture and reasoning ability in debate with authorities is impressive. What is given in the Martyrs Mirror appears satisfactory in itself, but the new source material enhances significantly our understanding of his life situation. For example, the Martyrs Mirror tells us that the authorities have "touched" Reytse's parents "in property." But from the new material we learn that the authorities have confiscated the parents' possessions and burned their house. The Martyrs Mirror reveals a loving relationship and mutual support between Reytse in prison and his family and spiritual brethren outside of prison. The new material shows him encouraging his younger sister in her decision to become a Christian and join the church. In spite of his own difficult position in prison and need of encouragement, Reytse appears to have spent a good bit of time thinking about spiritual needs of those on the outside, praying for them and writing words of encouragement to them.
The Martyrs Mirror does show Reytse trapped in prison at the hands of unyielding persecutors and his need to keep his spirits buoyed up. But the new material reveals further human tragedy, giving us a letter he writes to his sister and brother-in-law encouraging them in the faith, and, immediately following, another letter to the same sister consoling her on the unexpected death of her husband. Also, Reytse's younger brother died, apparently of natural causes during the imprisonment. So he had to deal with the natural calamities of life in addition to the struggle against relentless persecution.
From the new material we learn that Reytse, while in prison, received a generous gift of money and food from a brother in Christ whom he had never met. Reytse responds with a warm letter of thanks, admonition and encouragement to the unseen brother, and he divides up the food with his now destitute family, sending most of it back out of the prison. After all, he does not have much need since he soon will be executed.
Reytse is twenty-five years old, has been married two years and has an infant child of six months. He has belonged to the church only four years and yet has a mature, impressive grasp of the Scripture, and is able to use his knowledge well in disputation with opponents and in admonition of friends and of himself as he faces the premature end of his own life. The new material gives us a fuller picture of Reytse. We owe Brad Gregory thanks for spending the time to provide this book of new sources.
Hagerstown, Md. JAMES W. LOWRY
Crossing the Divide: Language Transition Among Canadian Mennonite Brethren 1940-1970. By Gerald C. Ediger. Winnipeg: Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies. 2001. Pp. 236. $19.95.
Language and Language Use of the Amish and Mennonite Groups of Swiss-German Origin: An Annotated Bibliography. Werner Enninger, et al., eds. Essen: LAUD/Linguistic Agency University Essen. 2002. Pp. 189.
At the end of the introductory chapter of his study, Gerald C. Ediger relates a humorous anecdote he heard growing up in a Mennonite Brethren community in Canada. The joke, which is still widespread among German-speaking Amish and Mennonite groups elsewhere in North America, goes like this. Someone wonders what language God speaks. A second person replies that it must be German. How do you know that? asks the first person. The response: Don't you remember what God says after Adam and Eve have hidden themselves? "Adam, Adam, wo bist du?" ("Adam, Adam, where are you?")
While this joke is told as just that-a joke-its makes subtle reference to the fact that even though German-speaking Anabaptists may know intellectually that German was not spoken in the Garden of Eden, or that the original medium of the Bible was not Martin Luther's German, the language nonetheless carries much emotional weight. The main symbolic value of German as a language of worship for many conservative Amish and Mennonites today is the connection it evokes with their spiritual heritage (the "sacralization" of German, in Ediger's view). At the same time, maintenance of a standard ("High") German variety in church typically correlates with the preservation of a vernacular dialect (e.g., Pennsylvania German or Mennonite Low German) that helps mark the boundaries between these conservative communities and the larger societies in which they live. For those groups who strive to keep social change within bounds, maintenance of some form(s) of the German language has become an important issue.
Ediger's monograph is an important contribution to the study of the sociolinguistic history (and sociolinguistic present) of ethnic, that is, historically German-speaking Mennonite and Amish communities in North America. Specifically, the author examines the process of shift within his particular group, Canadian Mennonite Brethren, from the use of German as a language of worship to English, a process that accelerated around 1940 and was largely completed by the end of the 1960s. As Ediger effectively demonstrates, this was in many ways a painful process that highlighted intra-group divisions to be found in the history of many other churches. At the core of these situations of conflict is a disagreement over the extent to which changes in the expression of one's faith are necessary or appropriate. These changes may relate to the nature of worship itself (which language to use in church, for example) or to questions of how worshippers should conduct their everyday lives outside of church (e.g., acceptance of certain aspects of technology, outreach to other believers and non-Christians). Often, though not always, the lines of division run parallel to generational ones, with older congregants advocating a more conservative approach to change and younger ones adopting a more "progressive" line.
Indeed, the history of the shift from German to English among Mennonite Brethren in Canada is one that will resonate with those who are familiar with similar situations in other Mennonite and Amish groups, not only as regards language, but a host of other important issues, including support for missionary work, the nature of formal education for children and prescriptions relating to more tangible aspects of everyday life, including dress and technology. Although Ediger has chosen to focus on the specific history of the German-to-English shift in just three Canadian MB congregations, and bases his study exclusively on documentary (rather than oral) evidence, what breadth he sacrifices is amply compensated for by the depth of his analysis. The conclusions Ediger draws as to what appear to have been the major forces underlying the language shift and the emotional strife attendant with that process are sound. These include internal factors (especially as relates to education and missions) and external ones affecting non-English-speaking ethnic minorities generally.
The movement away from German and toward the exclusive use of English as the language of worship among Canadian Mennonite Brethren examined by Ediger is consistent with the experience of virtually all other non-English speaking groups who immigrate to North America. Adult, foreign-born speakers of languages other than English will typically acquire English with less than nativelike proficiency, even after several decades of residence in their adopted country. However, it is the norm for the second generation, that is, the children of immigrants, to generally become English-dominant as adults, regardless of whether they spoke English as their first language (i.e., before entering school) or not. By the third generation, the shift to English monolingualism at the community level is usually complete. With respect to this sociolinguistic pattern of shift to English, many Mennonite groups, especially those who came to this continent after the eighteenth century, are not exceptional. Those Anabaptists who have bucked this trend and maintained German beyond the first generation after immigration are mainly very conservative, concentrated in rural areas and endogamous. The most familiar examples of such groups are the Old Order Amish, Old Order Mennonites and Old Colony Mennonites. Indeed, the vernacular languages of these groups, Pennsylvania German and Mennonite Low German, are among the very few minority languages spoken in North America today whose preservation is not dependent on fresh immigration (as is the case of Spanish, for example).
The ancestors of the MB congregations that Ediger studied came to Canada as part of the first major exodus of Mennonites out of the Russian Empire during the 1870s. If it had not been for a second, large wave of Russian Mennonites ("Russlnder") during the 1920s who soon came to outnumber the earlier "Kanadier" Mennonite Brethren, the shift to English would likely have been completed before 1940. However, the newcomers came to advocate for the maintenance of German under the rubric of "Deutsch und Religion" ("German and Religion"), a linking of language and faith evoked by the anecdote cited at the beginning of this review. The maintenance efforts of a number of ardent advocates for German, notably one Isaak Regehr, are carefully documented by Ediger. While not denying the necessity of knowing English to be able to function within the larger society, Regehr and others sought to establish clear boundaries between their group and that larger society, mainly through the maintenance of German as a language of worship. This raises a question that I would like to have seen Ediger address in at least some form in his book. Throughout, the discussion of language maintenance is limited to "German," that is, Standard or "High" German. We know, however, that the majority of these German-speaking Mennonites used Mennonite Low German (Plautdietsch) as their primary oral language. Nowhere in Ediger's study do we learn of a connection made between preservation of High German in church and what Mennonite Brethren were expected by German-language advocates to use in the home, save for one reference (p. 58) to a committee report stressing that "High-German must be the language of the family." Owing to the fact that Ediger limited the focus of his study to the use of German in the formal context of worship, it is not surprising that he would not discuss the situation of Plautdietsch. Nonetheless, from what we know of successful German-maintenance efforts, namely those of the Old Order and Old Colony groups mentioned above, when English comes to be used in church, it is generally not long before it also becomes the dominant language of the home. Especially for those less familiar with the quasi-trilingual situation of many conservative Anabaptist groups (two varieties of German plus the language of the larger society), it would have been useful for Ediger to give the reader some sense of the larger maintenance picture.
In fact, in the second book reviewed here, the annotated bibliography compiled by Werner Enninger and his assistants at the University of Essen, the focus is less on the situation of High German among Anabaptists in North America, and more on their vernacular verbal behavior as German-English bilinguals. More specifically, the published and unpublished papers (including theses and dissertations) covered in Enninger's reference work deal mainly with the sociolinguistic situation of Pennsylvania German-speaking groups in the United States and Ontario. Indeed, most recent research in "Anabaptist linguistics" has focused on these groups, especially the most numerous of them, the Old Order Amish. Although there exists a body of literature on the language(s) of the Low German-speaking Mennonites, most is of a fairly traditional scholarly nature, including descriptive studies of the internal structures of Plautdietsch subdialects. Much remains to be investigated of the sociolinguistic situation of those speakers among whom the language continues to thrive (alongside High German for liturgical purposes), the Old Colony Mennonites.
The structure of Enninger's bibliography is a straightforward one. Works are listed alphabetically by author. Each entry contains a detailed abstract, as well as a text box of boldface keywords that indicate the major topics covered in the work cited. Unfortunately, these keywords are not compiled in an index at the end, which would allow someone to find works of interest according to topic. (I should point out that the absence of an index is a minor shortcoming in Ediger's monograph as well. Even a brief list of topics and individuals would have made it easier for the reader to navigate the text. A short glossary of German-language terms is included, though.) As Enninger points out in his introductory remarks, however, the present bibliography is regarded only as a work in progress. It is his goal to eventually develop a Web-based version, something that would be highly recommendable and which would also address the need for searching by keyword.
With "non-virtual" bibliographies, or published reference works of any kind in this digital age, there is always the risk of immediate obsolescence. However, the output of research on Old Order Amish and Old Order Mennonite sociolinguistics is modest, and as far as I can tell, Enninger has not omitted a single important work. Further, owing to the fact that a number of these works are unpublished or otherwise difficult to track down in, say, bibliographic databases, Enninger's bibliography fills an important gap for researchers.
In sum, both volumes are recommended to a wide range of readers in Anabaptist history and society. Despite its centrality to human culture, language is often treated only cursorily in historical and sociological research; thus any works that add a sociolinguistic perspective to such research are welcome. As indicated above, the shift away from German among the Canadian Mennonite Brethren analyzed by Ediger is one that has been a part of the experience of numerous other Mennonite groups in North America. At the same time, the body of research covered in Enninger's bibliography points out that the march to English monolingualism is not an inevitable one. The stability and growth of groups such as the Old Orders (and the Old Colony Mennonites) point out that stable bilingualism-including maintenance of German-is both possible and positive by maintaining an important symbolic connection to the Anabaptist heritage.
University of Wisconsin?Madison MARK L. LOUDEN
Robert Kreider is a masterful storyteller and has often used stories to bring Mennonite history to life for students and other audiences. In this volume he tells his own story, detailing the richness of his experiences during the first thirty-three years of his life (1919-1952). While he includes some reflections, this autobiography is not primarily an analytical work with critiques of institutional or theological developments in the twentieth-century Mennonite community. Instead the focus is on events, sometimes quite personal, as he describes his life in the context of his family, neighborhood, school, church and community. Perhaps the most significant theme is his growing sense of belonging to the worldwide Mennonite community.
Kreider bases his story on extensive research and primary sources. In fact, roughly half of this six-hundred-page narrative quotes directly from his own remarkable letters written while in service during and just after World War II. Herein is a wealth of information for anyone studying the Civilian Public Service program or Mennonite Central Committee relief work during this important stage in the development of inter-Mennonite cooperation.
Accounts of persecution of the Swiss Anabaptists in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries begin the tale of Kreider's ancestors, who were soon transplanted to Pennsylvania. Kreider's grandparents-their surnames Kreider, Ebersole, Shoemaker and Brubaker-had all moved west to Illinois by 1870, and many personal memories of this generation are included. In 1919 Robert Kreider was born in Sterling, Ill., and lived on a farm for his first three years. He describes many Illinois visits to see relatives, but the career of his father, Amos, pastor and teacher, soon took the family to Goshen, Ind. Here Robert, or Bob as he is more commonly known, describes an idyllic childhood and Goshen as his "Camelot."
However, not all memories of Goshen are happy. The closing of Goshen College in 1923 is one of a handful of situations where Kreider identifies a pivotal event in his life and wonders what if decisions or events had gone differently. Harsh thoughts and words from Kreider are rare, but he sharply criticizes the conservatives of the Mennonite Church involved in this episode. This pivotal event moved the Kreider family to Bluffton, Ohio, and eventually the career of Robert Kreider toward General Conference Mennonite Church circles. He recounts his childhood with numerous details of small town life in Bluffton and Goshen.
In 1935 Amos Kreider accepted an invitation to teach at Bethel College, and Robert entered Bethel as a freshman. His leadership abilities were recognized by his peers as they elected him president of his sophomore and junior classes and of student council his senior year. His detailed letters and journals also begin during this period as did his interest in service. During college he spent one summer in a work camp in Appalachia and another in England before graduating from Bethel in 1939. He headed to the University of Chicago, where he enjoyed one year of seminary studies and a second year studying ethics before World War II began and he was drafted.
The twenty-two-year-old Kreider was immediately thrust into an administrative role as the education director and assistant director of the Colorado Springs C.P.S. camp in August, 1941. He also developed curriculum for the overall C.P.S. program and negotiated with various Selective Service and Soil Conservation Service officials, with whom occasionally he had a troubled relationship. A year later he was transferred to a new assignment at Akron, Pa., and eventually became assistant to the person overseeing the developing Mennonite work in mental hospitals. In 1943 he was one of seven C.P.S. men selected for what proved to be an aborted effort to begin a service program in China. This autobiography provides many details on the inner workings and personalities involved in the C.P.S. program.
Kreider continued his service in devastated and defeated Germany after the war with Mennonite Central Committee. He represented Mennonites on CRALOG (Council of Relief Agencies Licensed for Operation in Germany) and in March 1946, arrived in Berlin and began to manage a massive M.C.C. relief effort with tons of food and clothing soon arriving from North America. It is perhaps at this point that this autobiography with its detailed primary source accounts will prove most valuable not only to those interested in relief work and the development of M.C.C. but also to those looking at the plight of Mennonite refugees from Russia, the Mennonite church in Europe after the war and inter-Mennonite relations in general. Kreider, though still in his late twenties, demonstrated great skill in maneuvering within the bureaucracies set up after the war. The story is filled with detailed accounts of conferences and travels, sometimes with leaders from home and on a couple of occasions with narrow escapes from serious injury in accidents.
Kreider's service had delayed his graduate education for eight years. He was at the center of inter-Mennonite service work and institutional development during this period, and his autobiography is sometimes overly modest about his role in pivotal events. One is especially amazed by the level of activity of North American Mennonites during this period, and the mentoring of one generation by the previous. Although Kreider does not mention it, one wonders if the historical and collecting interests of the leaders of the relief work in Europe after the war were entirely coincidental. Kreider himself decided to study and then teach history instead of economics, his pre-war choice. Kreider later directed the Mennonite Library and Archives at Bethel College and was replaced in Germany by Delbert Gratz, who later played a similar role at Bluffton. At the same time several others who also became collectors and historians were also doing relief work (Irvin Horst who served in the Netherlands and developed a significant book collection there; and in 1948 John Oyer, who later directed the Mennonite Historical Library at Goshen, replaced C. J. Dyck in the British Zone of Germany in 1948; Dyck later taught Anabaptist history at the Mennonite Biblical Seminary).
In 1949 Kreider returned to the University of Chicago and began his Ph.D. studies in history, and upon graduation in 1952 he accepted a teaching position at Bluffton College, where he became dean and president. The account ends with this transition in 1952.
Those who know Robert Kreider will enjoy the personal details of his narrative as one learns a great deal more about him and his family. For example, friends may know not to stand on his left side when speaking to him but not that a youthful adventure in a tree house in Bluffton resulted in the hearing loss in one ear. Those who do not know Robert Kreider or have not had the pleasure of working with him, as this reviewer did in his first job after graduate school, will still find this volume as captivating as the man is himself. He reveals much of himself and his career as a church leader, teacher and administrator in this story while he simultaneously provides insights into the development of inter-Mennonite cooperation, which he played so large a role in fostering.
Kansas State Historical Society DAVID A. HAURY
Commoners and Community: Essays in Honour of Werner O. Packull. Edited by C. Arnold Snyder. Kitchener, Ont.: Pandora Press. 2002. Pp. 323. $35, Can.
In this Festschrift, thirteen scholars honor Professor Werner O. Packull upon his retirement from a sterling career in Reformation and Anabaptist studies at Conrad Grebel University College. After two essays of appreciation for Packull as a person and as a scholar, five essays "examine broad issues . . . against the background of the Reformation" (9), and seven focus "more narrowly on Anabaptist studies" (10).
Hans-Jrgen Goertz opens with the much-debated question: when did the Middle Ages end and the modern era begin? He chooses the year 1500, for it introduced "a new epochal understanding of time" (31). Propelled by medieval apocalypticism, sixteenth-century people shifted from a static to a goal-oriented view of time. One wonders, though, whether this was the main impulse behind the rise of the modern world.
Three essays center on social history. James M. Stayer shows that quantitative studies confirm traditional understandings of Anabaptism (e.g., most Anabaptists were of the artisan class), and more frequently, challenge them (e.g., Anabaptists were inherently rural). Rightly he insists that we approach numbers critically, for scholars interpret them. For example, is it fear (C.-P. Clasen) or low political profile (S. Zijlstra) that explains the low number of known Anabaptist women? In making Anabaptist scholarship "less open to grandiose pronouncements" (69), quantitative historians have made it stronger. Walter Klaassen offers brief sketches of seven laymen whose names all begin with "Hans." Figures less well known than Hans Denck and Hans Hut would add freshness to the essay. We see that these laymen affirmed independent faith in the face of opposition, but more is needed on their beliefs, why they clashed with authorities and why they are significant. Douglas H. Shantz argues that by highlighting re-born women and the uneducated devout, and by utilizing the previously silenced Ketzer as primary sources, the Pietest historians Gottfried Arnold (1666-1714) and Johann Reitz (1655-1720) challenged accepted accounts about the Ketzer and influenced the writing of Enlightenment histories. An example of these innovations in Enlightenment historiography would strengthen the essay's argument.
Two essays discuss the Swiss Anabaptists. C. Arnold Snyder argues that if one understands mysticism broadly as "preparation for, consciousness of, and response to the immediate presence of God" (197), then, like the South German/Austrian Anabaptists, the Swiss Anabaptists were steeped in mystical thought characterized by penitence, regeneration and water baptism. This essay narrows the divide between the South German/Austrian and Swiss Anabaptists. John D. Roth suggests that the confessionalization of Europe after the Reformation was not inevitable or uniform, for in the case of Hans Landis, a Swiss Brethren farmer-preacher executed in 1614, local residents protected Anabaptists, and officials, sensitive to public opinion, wavered for decades. Insightful analysis concludes this fast-moving and fascinating case.
Two essays analyze Pilgram Marpeck's thought. According to Geoffrey Dipple, Marpeck, like most early Anabaptists, looked to restore the apostolic church. When Hans Bnderlin and Christian Entfelder pointed out that in the Bible external signs often replaced the experience of God, and that people "needed to look instead to the inner, spiritual church" (222), Marpeck revised his thinking. He came to see a "pattern of apostasy and redemption" (225), in which infant baptism and compulsion on faith questions led the apostolic church to fall. Thus Anabaptists formulated a unique view of church history. Dipple's exposition is excellent, but new material on Moravia in the conclusion weakens the essay's focus. A. James Reimer argues that given the tension in Anabaptism between its theocentric worldview and its thrust toward religious freedom, Marpeck's thought on natural and civil law can be helpful for social ethics today. Despite the Fall, God-given natural law implies a universal good that Christians can affirm. Civil authority, meanwhile, has a God-ordained role to restrain evil and create order. Christians may participate in this fully but critically to the extent that the state does not vitiate freedom of conscience. The essay opens with comments from a Muslim scholar, but then adopts Christian presuppositions. One wonders how the essay would appear with an interfaith perspective throughout.
Two essays discuss Dutch Anabaptism. Gary K. Waite investigates the cosmology of David Joris, and the perceptions others had of him. Joris believed that God had revealed to him the spiritual secrets of the universe. Since his methods resembled those of magicians, many viewed him as a sorcerer, but in his focus on inner spirituality, he was not one. The concluding statement that "Joris's depreciation of the corporeal activity of the 'spirit world' " (189) contributed to Enlightenment thinking begs further explanation. Michael Driedger highlights the multifaceted contributions of Mennonites to the Enlightenment in the Netherlands, and asks why they are not brought together in a Mennonite Encyclopedia article. Much Mennonite historiography concludes that the Enlightenment weakened Anabaptist faith, but to ask how Mennonites contributed to the Enlightenment would be better. Driedger's consolidation of the Mennonite Encyclopedia's scattered Enlightenment data is valuable, but the essay's double focus on eighteenth-century Mennonites and the twentieth-century Mennonite Encyclopedia is unwieldy.
Two essays discuss Hutterite leadership. Martin Rothkegel analyzes esoteric and allegorical paraphrases of Mark, Luke and Matthew by Peter Riedemann. Riedemann interprets the biblical text in a servant of the word-congregation pattern (males stand for teachers and females for congregations). Very different from the exoteric literature for the laity, these paraphrases must be "a special genre of devotional literature," meant to assure servants "of the divine origin and authority of their office" (253). The passages to illustrate Riedemann's method are superbly chosen and Rothkegel's explanations of allegorical meanings fascinating. The phrase "Learned in the School of David" needs explanation. It would be good to ask why Riedemann felt such need to elevate the authority of the servant of the word. Astrid von Schlachta notes that during the "Golden Years," community of goods was justified as a voluntary expression of love. After 1578 increasing numbers challenged this ideal. To defend community of goods as God's absolute will, leaders used "community" interchangeably with "community of goods," argued that all apostolic churches practiced community of goods and taught that alms and neighbor love should benefit only community members. This theological shift had limited success because toleration, prosperity and finally expulsion from Moravia dimmed the Hutterites' vision for a separated life. Von Schlachta shows particularly well how leaders used Scripture and interpretive "devices" to demand community of goods. Note 10 apologizes for omissions of material; at least sources could be cited. The expulsion from Moravia, first noted in the conclusion, needs earlier mention.
Commoners and Community is a first-rate anthology, for every essay contributes something new to the history of Early Modern Europe. The writers assume some familiarity with Reformation and Anabaptist history. Some unevenness appears, but all essays are original, thoroughly documented and readable. As in the Reformation, religion is ubiquitous. Some essays seek to be objective (Goertz, Stayer, Driedger, Waite, Rothkegel, von Schlachta), while others are clearly sympathetic to Anabaptism (Schantz, Reimer, Klaassen, Snyder, Dipple, Roth). The book, a fitting tribute to the career and contributions of Werner O. Packull, concludes with a list of his many publications and scholarly accomplishments.
Canadian Mennonite University JOHN DERKSEN