History & Ideology. American Mennonite Identity Definition through History. By Rodney James Sawatsky. Kitchener, Ont.: Pandora Press. 2005. Pp. 216. $21, U.S.; $24.50, Can.
The story around this publication is almost as interesting as the story inside. Three historical moments, separated by roughly thirty years each, mark this story.
In 1944 Harold Bender?s landmark article, ?The Anabaptist Vision,? was published in both Church History and The Mennonite Quarterly Review, after having been presented to the American Society of Church History the previous year. Along with Guy F. Hershberger?s War, Peace and Nonresistance published in the same year, it represented the culmination of years of debate among American Mennonites, especially within ?Old? Mennonite circles. Bender?s article and approach achieved near-orthodox status as the normative definition of Mennonite identity, and represented the position of the ?Goshen school of Mennonite historiography.? Mennonites are a people, it claimed, characterized by an emphasis on discipleship, the church as a brotherhood (sic), and an ethic of love and nonresistance, characteristics he traced back to ?genuine Anabaptism? of the sixteenth century.
Some thirty years later some younger scholars began to raise questions about this position. In ?From Monogenesis to Polygenesis? (1975) , James Stayer, Werner Packull and Klaus Depperman questioned Bender?s understanding of a relatively cohesive original Anabaptism. Rodney Sawatsky, a Bergthaler Mennonite from Southern Manitoba, and a graduate of Canadian Mennonite Bible College, Bethel College and the University of Minnesota, was one of those younger scholars. In 1977 he completed a dissertation at Princeton University, in which he examined the debates and arguments that culminated in Bender?s essay and the Goshen school of thought. Using the ?sociology of knowledge and the function of history as ideology,? he argued that the work of Bender and the Goshen school was not simply history, but rather an ideologically influenced interpretation shaped by the need to give Mennonites an identity within the world of twentieth-century America. As James C. Juhnke summarizes it, Bender ?fashioned Anabaptism into his own American Mennonite evangelical image to meet the needs of his own denomination. Bender?s ?Anabaptist Vision? was ideology more than history.?
When the dissertation was submitted for publication in the Studies in Anabaptist and Mennonite History series based at Goshen College, the response was decidedly lukewarm. The dissertation was not formally rejected, but major changes were requested, leading Sawatsky to believe that the Goshen school was not ready for his critique.
Dissertations often make for dull reading, but this one tells a fascinating story. Although the central interest of Sawatsky may have been Bender and the Goshen school, Sawatsky traces the ?American Mennonite reliance upon history as the primary vehicle to define a viable identity in the American environment? (12) back to the early Mennonite communities in Pennsylvania in the 1700s, where the Ausbund and Martyrs Mirror played a prominent role. In the nineteenth century the emphasis on suffering faded into the background, replaced by attention to separation, largely in terms of cultural patterns (e.g., dress). The century concluded with Mennonites having gradually adopted the American denominational style. And yet, their distinct identity within this denominational context was defined less by a particular confession than by a peculiar history.
Having adopted the denominational style, ?increased attention to a definable differentiation was required? (39). Men like John Horsch, C. H. Wedel and C. Henry Smith were prolific in producing historical works that addressed this need. A new factor on the scene was the fundamentalist-modernist controversy. Fundamentalism increasingly influenced historical writing among the ?Old? Mennonites, leading to an inclination to narrow the definition of ?true Anabaptism,? whereas the General Conference was more open to the social optimism of the time. By the First World War, ?two Mennonite denominations were fostering two identities each gaining legitimation from a variant historical reading of essentially the same past? (51).
Although on the surface the war united the Mennonite community around a commitment to peace and service, as soon as the war was over the battle over Mennonite identity commenced more intensely than ever, with the fundamentalist-modernist polarization generally setting the agenda. At first the colleges were the major battlefield, but in the 1920s it shifted to the press, church periodicals (especially The Christian Exponent, Gospel Herald, The Mennonite Quarterly Review and Sword and Trumpet) and book publications. Controversy over the Mennonite peace position, and whether it was essentially a nonresistant quietism or a more active pacifism, reflected the same divisions.
In this struggle the earlier emphases on nonconformity and cultural restrictions were inadequate weapons, and so Goshen College, with Bender its most articulate and vigorous spokesman, ?increasingly looked to the traditional Mennonite identity mechanism?history?as its main means of denominational identity? (70). Although influenced significantly by fundamentalist concerns, and wary of modernism, he nevertheless attempted to take a somewhat mediating position. The result was the ?Anabaptist Vision??a vision, but historically presented. The ?purest and most original form of Anabaptism? was a peaceful movement originating in Zurich, among people who were ?consistent biblicists, evangelical, soundly moderate and practical, free from fanaticism or doctrinal aberration??in brief, they were good evangelicals??evangelical Anabaptist.? It emerged simply from an ?unfettered reading of Scripture? (129). Bender?s ?The Anabaptist Vision? was the culmination of this effort, ?his best attempt, and probably the best of any Mennonite attempt in the twentieth century, both to identify normative Mennonitism for Mennonites and to present an apology before America for the cause of the Mennonite denomination? (131). History and vision merged.
Now, nearly thirty years after it was written, the dissertation finally has been published. I am not a professional historian, and thus not in the best position to judge the soundness of its historical analysis. Sawatsky?s work comes across as a masterful treatment, and quite persuasive. I did wonder why he had totally ignored the Mennonite Brethren in the U.S., and whether he might not have done more with the Canadian scene, especially given his own background. But those are minor issues.
It is probably difficult to appreciate today the significance of Sawatsky?s study. Although no nave historian, Bender understood himself to be doing objective history. For many years his account of early Anabaptism dominated the field, especially in Mennonite schools. Sawatsky?s claim that Bender?s reconstruction had been heavily influenced by the movements of his time, the particular battles he was fighting and the need to develop a Mennonite identity, sharply challenged the Goshen school. It is not surprising that there was hesitance to publish the study. Since then, however, the perspectival nature of all scholarship has become much more widely recognized and understood. Sawatsky?s conclusion has lost some of its radical impact. The value of the publication today, thus, is not in its critique of Bender and his vision, but rather, in the way it reveals what has happened within the Mennonite world since Bender, and ever since the dissertation was written. I note two examples.
First, the passion with which the Mennonite identity battles were fought in the period between the wars is enlightening, and reflects a very different time. These men?and at that time they all were men?disagreed fiercely with each other, and could become quite vicious in their attacks. And yet, they remained with the community. It appears the question was not, ?Who is a Mennonite???that was obvious?but rather, ?How do we define and understand ourselves?? The answer to that question was critically important, and worth debating with everything they had, since it would shape their communities and their future. In our present time, with the modern emphasis on tolerance, along with a church reality in which everyone is expected to choose a denomination with which they identify, or even if they identify with any denomination, this passion has largely been replaced by careful argument, or as often, by walking away from the debate, or the church, entirely.
Second, Sawatsky and other scholars of his generation are sometimes understood to have accused Bender of being a bad historian. And to some extent that is accurate. And yet, on another level, that is an unfortunate misreading. Sawatsky opens his study with the statement, ?Mennonite historiography, especially in its recent quest for the ?Anabaptist Vision,? exemplifies forcefully the ideological function of both ethnic and denominational history, if not all history? (1). Sawatsky is not as much accusing Bender of being a bad historian as he is reminding us that Bender?s work, like all other historical writing, was influenced by external concerns, and he is drawing to our attention the identity-producing potential of such historical writing. After all, he concludes by suggesting that Bender?s synthesis was probably the most effective effort to identify normative Mennonitism of the twentieth century.
This is a reminder that Mennonites at the beginning of the twenty-first century, in the midst of another identity crisis, may wish to heed. Most recent efforts at defining Mennonite identity have tended to be framed doctrinally rather than historically, by abstract distinctives rather than by a story. Sawatsky quotes J. M. Yinger as saying, ?When studied in the social setting, the continued or even revitalized emphasis of ethnic-religious groups on doctrinal distinctiveness is not surprising. After the language battle is lost and other cultural differences obscured, emphasis on doctrinal differences may increase because they have a heavier load to carry.? But this creates a problem in that doctrinal distinctives tend not to have the ?flesh and blood? required to give life to a community, and because putting more weight on doctrinal distinctives easily leads to heated battles that often end up excluding those not considered appropriately orthodox. What is needed is a story, a history, which can provide identity. This is, of course, in good biblical tradition where the identity of an Israelite was not determined by doctrinal statements, but by joining together to recite, ?A wandering Aramean was my ancestor . . .? (Deut. 26:5-9). Neither Bender nor Sawatsky makes use of this passage, but it would have served them well.
As someone who considered Sawatsky a close personal friend throughout his life, I was gratified to see his work finally made available more broadly. Thanks, Pandora Press, for recognizing a scholar who was an important voice in the discussion of Mennonite identity before his untimely death. This publication has the possibility of inspiring further discussion of who we are as Mennonites. And thanks, Rodney, for your contribution to the conversation.
Canadian Mennonite University GERALD GERBRANDT
Following in the Footsteps of Christ: The Anabaptist Tradition. By C. Arnold Snyder. Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books. 2004. Pp. 216. $16.
Primary source readings in Anabaptist spirituality have been available for some time, but this volume, authored by C. Arnold Snyder, a professor of history at Conrad Grebel University College, is the first study to analyze the Anabaptist spiritual tradition in significant detail. Based on writings, testimonies and songs, the work attends to the ?broadest stream? of sixteenth-century radical reformers, ?whose spirituality subsequently gave shape to an ?Anabaptist tradition? that has survived to the present? (24). The book is a part of the Traditions of Christian Spirituality series, edited by Philip Sheldrake, and intended primarily for a general readership.
The author?s attention to the ?broadest stream? is meant to avoid certain complexities posed by the ?polygenesis? historiography of recent decades. Historians working in the field have maintained that there were at least three distinct adult-baptizing movements that emerged in sixteenth-century Europe, namely the Swiss, South German/Austrian and North German/Dutch groups, and that within each of these movements further divergences emerged. Snyder, who has written several books and scholarly articles on Anabaptism, is well acquainted with the astonishing number of divergent groups that make up the Anabaptist story. However, he spares the reader these historical complexities by focusing on a cast of characters that are in continuity with the surviving traditions beyond the sixteenth century. Groups such as the revolutionary Mnsterites or notable forerunners of Anabaptism such as Thomas Mntzer and Andreas Karlstadt are absent in his study.
Anabaptism is widely recognized for its emphasis on adult baptism and discipleship. Less known and of concern in this volume are the understandings and practices undergirding and nourishing this witness. Thus while the call to a personal commitment to a new life in Jesus Christ is not only a call to believe but is also a summons to live as a disciple of Christ and to follow in his footsteps, Snyder notes that this life of discipleship does not simply come about by some act of human will or good intention, but is based on the regenerating power of the Spirit of God who empowers believers to become disciples. Moreover, the appropriate place for spirituality to flourish is in the communal setting of the Body of Christ where faith is openly professed, and where members pledge to live faithfully with the help of others. In opposition to the spiritualistic individualism emerging in the sixteenth-century context, the Anabaptists emphasized the centrality of the Christian community as the locus where the ?habits of heaven? can be practiced and acquired.
A significant contribution of the book is its attention to locating Anabaptist spirituality within the wider Christian heritage, thus providing important groundwork for ecumenical considerations. In the past, scholars such as Walter Klaassen have argued that Anabaptism was primarily a distinct movement, being neither Catholic nor Protestant, while Sjouke Voolstra has maintained that the Anabaptists were shaped by both Catholic and Protestant traditions. Snyder seeks to navigate between these two views, highlighting the unique characteristics of Anabaptist spirituality while giving attention to the way in which the Anabaptists echoed sentiments found in both Catholicism and Protestantism.
The volume is especially successful in clarifying the relationship between Anabaptism and late medieval Catholicism?a relationship that the author has highlighted in some of his other publications since the early 1980s. For example, in examining the human condition and the theme of new birth, Snyder notes the connections between the Anabaptist emphasis on fear of the Lord, repentance and Gelassenheit, and the sentiments that one finds in Benedictine spirituality as well as the pious devotion of the Brethren of the Common Life. In his discussion on Anabaptist baptism, he argues that far from being simply a sign or public pledge, water baptism reflects a profound conviction and intention similar to the monastic vow of the late patristic period, which has been described by some as a ?second? baptism. On the Lord?s Supper, Snyder concludes that the rite was not simply about remembering, but also included the presence of Christ among the believers. In a chapter devoted to the spiritual disciplines, he observes that ?at the centre of Anabaptist spiritual grounding and life of witness lay a discipline that may be described as a kind of lectio divina, that internalised a biblical and ascetic path to holiness and salvation? (116). At several points in the book, the author also notes the close relationship between Anabaptism and late medieval mysticism.
Such comparisons between Anabaptism and the wider religious milieu are not meant to suggest that the Anabaptist spiritual tradition was not distinctive in important ways. While Anabaptist spirituality bore the marks of a prominent Christocentric and ascetic spiritual impulse that evolved from the broader Roman Catholic stream, and while Anabaptist expressions of faith also resonated with biblical sensibilities of reforming Protestants, Snyder maintains that the Anabaptists chose a unique path in their quest for faithfulness. They eschewed Roman Catholic practices such as prayers to the saints and pilgrimages to holy sites. They avoided following a breviary of prescribed prayers and lectionary readings, and they had no directory for devotional exercises. Without a doubt, their rejection of the sacerdotalism of the established church placed them outside of the Roman Catholic sphere. At the same time, the Anabaptist emphasis on the rebirth that produced actual righteousness diverged from Luther?s soteriological conviction that Christians are justified by faith, yet continue to sin (simul iustus et peccator). Snyder concludes that ?in their approach to the spiritual disciplines, the Anabaptists were both radically biblical and radically ascetic, and thus represent a unique bridge between late medieval ascetic piety and the biblical spirituality of the Reformation? (137).
The Anabaptists, as Snyder describes them, seem to have struck a perfect balance between Catholic and Protestant spiritual sentiments, and they appear to have held together in an extraordinary manner the inner and outer dimensions of the spiritual life. A reader might wonder whether the Anabaptists experienced spiritual failure of any kind. Some time ago, the late John S. Oyer, a former editor of The Mennonite Quarterly Review, reminded his readers that Anabaptists also succumbed in significant numbers to Nicodemism. However neither Nicodemites nor other ?flawed? Anabaptists figure prominently in this book. Nor are readers given the opportunity to gain insight into the spiritual struggles and failures of those who did not necessarily remain faithful to the end.
Yet such matters do not change the opinion of this reviewer that this volume is an exceptional and thorough investigation. It has much to offer to a general audience, to church study groups and to scholars. Drawing on a wealth of primary sources and current scholarship, the author has provided an insightful and nuanced portrait of a dynamic spiritual tradition. Readers will not be disappointed.
Canadian Mennonite University KARL KOOP
In Defense of Privilege: Russian Mennonites and the State before and during World War I. By Abraham Friesen. Winnipeg, Man.: Kindred Productions. 2006. Pp. 520. $35.99, U.S.; $39.99, Can.
In his book In Defense of Privilege, Abraham Friesen maps out important aspects of the intellectual history of Mennonites in Russia in the years around World War I. Like many European Mennonites in the late nineteenth century, those in the Russian Empire turned to their history to explain their identity and origins. As Friesen explains, national interests began to trump older allegiances to region and religion, and so questions of origin and meaning needed to be answered anew from the history of the nation or ethnic group and not just from tradition or theology.
Friesen argues that two events, especially, forced Mennonites to confront identity questions with an eye to their own history: the 1905 Edict of Toleration that promised, but failed to deliver, religious freedom as the result of a failed revolution; and the land expropriation decree of 1915 that targeted ethnic German property owners in Russia. The Mennonite response to these two events is the subject of sections two and three of the book, while sections one and four outline the background and consequences of these momentous actions.
The context for this story is the separate status of Mennonites in the Russian Empire, exemplified in the Charter of Privilege they received from Tsar Paul I in 1800 and manifested in their alternative form of military service, their German language and their own set of church and school institutions. Russification pressures since the 1860s, along with steadily improving education, resulted in the beginnings of self-reflection among Mennonites, as they considered their own past and their place in an evolving Russian society. Friesen examines the publication history of an anonymous essay, Kto takie Mennonity? (Who are the Mennonites?), to illustrate this broad phenomenon. He goes to great lengths to demonstrate that Peter Braun, a schoolteacher, archivist and relative of Friesen, was the author. The fact that the pamphlet went through two editions (in 1914 and 1915) makes it useful for documenting the impact of the start of World War I on Russian Mennonite intellectuals.
What specific aspects of Mennonite history became particularly important in the last years of the Russian Empire? The 1905 Edict of Toleration was to be applied to churches, but not to sects, and so Mennonites attempted to prove that they were the former and not the latter. At the same time, some Mennonites, particularly the Mennonite Brethren, eagerly took advantage of promised new liberties in founding, for example, the Raduga (Rainbow) publishing house, the first Mennonite press in Russia. Many of their publications promoted Russian-language evangelism, which had previously been illegal. The press eventually faced a government investigation.
With the outbreak of World War I, the national identity of Mennonites replaced their religious identity as the most important issue. As German-speaking Russians who refused to serve in regular combat positions in the army, they were especially suspicious. To help shift attention from its own shortcomings, the government in 1915 decreed the expropriation of German-owned property in Russia. Thus the second edition of Who are the Mennonites? now argued that Mennonites were really Dutch, not German, since in the sixteenth century many of their ancestors had fled from the Netherlands to a German-speaking area in Poland. By that reasoning, the new expropriation law should not apply to them. Not surprisingly, the government was skeptical, since Mennonites spoke German and knew no Dutch.
The threatened expropriations were only carried out on a limited scale; with the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, Mennonites confronted a much different set of problems. The short-term German occupation in 1918 of the main Mennonite colonies in Ukraine sharply focused the Dutch-German origins debate and resulted in a dramatic shift toward stronger identification with Germany. Once the German occupiers left, the pendulum swung back in favor of Dutch origins, but this move, along with other activities, cost the Mennonites precious credibility with the new Soviet government. For the next three decades this debate revived whenever Mennonites tried to migrate out of the Soviet Union. For example, when working with Mennonite refugees from Ukraine after World War II, Mennonite Central Committee for a time convinced the responsible international refugee organizations that these Mennonites should be considered Dutch, and not German, in order to secure funding and permission for resettlement activities.
This volume is a valuable addition to Russian Mennonite scholarship. Friesen effectively demonstrates how political events in the Russian Empire controlled the parameters of Mennonite debates. As the author points out in his conclusion, these debates have ongoing parallels for Mennonites today. Is maintaining a separate identity from the surrounding society possible and desirable, or merely a hindrance to evangelism and a magnet for major trouble in any war? Friesen notes that the strongest proponents of assimilation to either Russian or German society eventually concluded that national concerns must trump traditional Mennonite theology.
Friesen offers a highly detailed intellectual history. For most Russian Mennonites the debate over their Dutch or German origins was probably decided more pragmatically than the view presented here, a possibility that Friesen does not analyze as extensively. The answer to the question of origins apparently depended mostly on what the official of the government in charge at the moment wanted to hear. On this point it might be helpful to compare the use of the labels Anabaptist or Mennonite among the sixteenth-century ancestors of the Russian Mennonites. They too, I suspect, cared less about the ideological implications of labels than about escaping persecution.
Friesen attempted to integrate Russian history with Mennonite history, and while he does better at this task than some of the older historiography, more work remains to be done. For example, the book discusses the Russification project of the 1860s without reference to the Crimean War, making it harder to understand why the Russian government found these efforts to be so vitally important. The tension between Mennonites and the Russian Orthodox Church is largely reduced to the proselytism of the Mennonite Brethren, and we learn little about the Russian Orthodox Church?s ecclesiology or problems with an overbearing government, which I suspect many Orthodox would identify as the actual point of contention.
Likewise, a broader context for the history of nationalist rhetoric would have deepened Friesen?s analysis of the crucial role this debate played for Mennonites. The pro-German origins espoused in Benjamin Unruh?s writing owed a great deal to the vlkisch ideology common to the late nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century. This ideology insisted that the only social groups that could be viable in the long run were biologically homogeneous nations whose territory was coterminous with a state under the group?s control, a point of view that helps to explain both why Unruh was so insistent on the indelible German nature of the Mennonites and why many Mennonites in Russia at this time thought of themselves as a Vlklein, a small, unique, mini-nation. Conceptualizing the debates in this framework would leave space for neglected traditionalists who cared little about the debates of origins and were not eager to join either the German or the Russian nation.
Bethel College, North Newton, Kansas MARK JANTZEN
Rethinking Holy Land: A Study in Salvation Geography. By Marlin Jeschke. Scottdale, Pa.: Herald Press. 2005. Pp. 171. $16.99, U.S.; $21.29, Can.
This book has been a long time in the making. In the 1970s Mennonite Central Committee convened a group of Mennonite theologians and biblical scholars, among them Marlin Jeschke of Goshen College, to help M.C.C. think theologically about land issues, particularly in relation to the contested Holy Land, where M.C.C. had been working with Palestinian refugees since 1948. We can thank retirement for freeing Jeschke from the demands of teaching, for now three decades later we have his book-length study on a biblical theology of land.
In the first seven chapters Jeschke traces the story?at times a multivocal story?of salvation geography, ?an alternative to fallen humanity?s way of acquiring and possessing territory by violence and conquest? (24). This is a story stretching from God?s promise of land to Abraham, through the exodus from Egypt, the conquest of Canaan, and exile to Babylon and beyond, up to Jesus? universalizing of the land promises and the church?s checkered history of trying (and often failing) to live out the calling to sanctify the entire earth. Jeschke is well aware that one cannot simply speak of a single theology or ideology of land in Scripture, and clearly recognizes the various ways in which different biblical texts and narratives (e.g., the conquest narratives) have been used to justify various violent acts of land-possession throughout history. Jeschke rightly insists that the multivocal biblical text must be read canonically and christologically, with God?s revelation through Jesus shaping how we appropriate, for example, the narratives in Deuteronomy, Joshua and Judges concerning the mass slaughter and dispossession of Canaanites and other peoples. In Jeschke?s account, Abraham plays a paradigmatic role as the model sojourner, one who is promised the land and lives in the land, but lives there alongside other peoples and in a way that does not grasp for the land, but instead receives it as gift. The wandering in the desert continues this sojourning dependence on God, but the violent conquest of the land and the establishment of a monarchy represent, in Jeschke?s account, a falling away from the vision of salvation geography. The monarchy ?carried inevitable consequences for ill? (59); Jeschke builds on 1 Samuel 8 to argue that ?in Israel?s request for a king in order to be like the nations, they became like those nations to the point of sharing their fate? (62).
Jeschke then follows John Howard Yoder in viewing ?exile and dispersion not as a tragedy but rather as a divinely purposed discipline to recall Israel to its true identity and mission? (78). In Babylon Israel hears the call to seek the peace of the cities of their exile, that is, to sanctify the lands of their dispersion (Jer. 29:7). As such, Israel in exile becomes the ?progenitor of the church? (77). Jeschke tells a story in which the Israelites in exile were responding to God?s call to sanctify the entire earth through righteousness and justice, a call that is continued and fulfilled in Jesus? rejection of ?a restoration of a Davidic kind of nation-state in favor of a universalization of salvation? (86). The experience of exile and Jesus? dispersion of the disciples into mission throughout the world are, according to Jeschke, continuations of God?s promises to Abraham. Rhetorically, he asks: ?Is God?s ultimate purpose in the call of Abraham a nation-state of some 7,847 square miles with a state religion? Or is God?s intention a faith that will find its way into every part of the earth and bring salvation to anyone willing to embrace it?? (67).
The strength of Jeschke?s work lies in how he has woven together and made accessible to a nonacademic audience the work of more exacting studies by biblical scholars and theologians such as Walter Brueggeman, Norman Habel, Waldemar Janzen, Michael Prior, Robert Wilken and John Howard Yoder. Academics will at times wish for greater depth or nuance while reading Jeschke?s study, but that should not detract from the positive value of Jeschke?s work, its accessibility to a serious lay audience.
Jeschke?s study, while praiseworthy as an introductory overview to land issues in Scripture and as a theological plea for a nonviolent approach to land possession, comes up short in some respects. Some misspellings of names (Teddy Kolleck instead of Kollek; Richard Hayes instead of Hays) mar the manuscript, as do unproductive quips about Muhammad making his miraj, or night journey, from Jerusalem ?because there were no direct flights from Mecca or Medina? (139). More significantly, however, the discussion of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict (concentrated in chapter 8), while pointing in promising directions and certainly providing a more biblical and life-giving theology of land than that advanced by Christian Zionists, does not completely fulfill its initial promise. Minor flaws, such referring to Israel?s walls and fences in the occupied West Bank with the ideologically-freighted term ?security barrier? (35), or dating the establishment of the State of Israel as 1947 (the date of the U.N. Partition Plan, UNGA 181) instead of 1948 (Israel?s declaration of independence), or claiming (without evidence and, I believe, without foundation) that ?Palestinian polices? are ?even more unapologetically predicated upon the use of force and violence [than Israeli policies] to defend territory? (132) irritate, but do not in the end detract substantially from the work as a whole. More problematic is Jeschke?s failure to present a vision for what positive difference ?salvation geography? might have for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Jeschke is certainly correct to insist that Western Christians, before addressing the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, must confess and grapple with the ways we have failed to live out the vision of salvation geography. Also commendable are Jeschke?s underscoring that Christians cannot justify any efforts to acquire or defend land, by Israelis or Palestinians, that deploy violence, and his suggestive identification (following John Howard Yoder) of Zionism as ?a rerun of 1 Samuel 8, a decision to be ?like the nations? instead of a redeemed alternative to the nations? (124).
Unfortunately absent from Jeschke?s study, however, is an engagement with Palestinian Christian theologians like Elias Chacour, Naim Ateek, Michel Sabbah, Mitri Raheb and Alex Awad, among others, who have struggled with questions of election and the land. Jeschke dismissively observes that Palestinian Christians constitute only 2 percent of the Palestinian population (a figure that is true for the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, but is inaccurate for the Palestinian population inside Israel or in the diaspora), arguing that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is basically a Muslim-Jewish conflict (132-133). There are two obvious problems with this analysis. First, it is reductive and overly simplistic to describe the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in solely religious terms. Religious narratives, imagery and rhetoric undoubtedly animate many on both sides of the conflict, but reducing the conflict to a ?Muslim-Jewish? conflict fails to take into account the large secularized portions of both populations and prevents one from seeing the conflict in terms of colonialism and nationalism. Second, it is ironic for a pacifist Christian from the United States, where pacifists are a decided minority, to discount the role of Palestinian Christians simply because they are a minority. Listening to the stories and testimonies of Palestinian Christians does not mean endorsement of all Palestinian claims or of all Palestinian actions, but it does involve taking seriously how our fellow believers in Christ grapple with the questions of ?salvation geography.?
Also absent from Jeschke?s study is a discussion of what specific import ?salvation geography? would have for the future of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Jeschke stresses that many peace proposals, while sincere, are doomed to failure so long as people are unwilling to ?change their perspective? and ?re-examine the cause of the problems,? refusing ?to go down the way of violence in the first place?; he is more concerned, he says, about ?prevention? (134-135). If, however, Jeschke is correct that too many ?peace? proposals are about power politics and ?security? gained through military force or advantage, can one not imagine different kinds of peace proposals, proposals built on reconciliation, forgiveness, the welcoming home of refugees? Such proposals would transcend the exclusivist logics of Zionism and Palestinian nationalism, viewing the land as a site where Palestinian-Israeli reconciliation and coexistence can be secured. Israelis like Martin Buber and Palestinians like Edward Said have in the past championed the notion of the binational state, and many Palestinians and Israelis today work nonviolently for such a binational future. Jeschke?s study would have been strengthened had he explored in greater depth the practical implications of salvation geography for the future of Palestinians and Israelis.
My criticisms notwithstanding, Jeschke has produced a clearly written and for the most part compelling book, one that puts the question of right living in the land at the center of Christian life and mission. It deserves to be widely read in churches, colleges and seminaries.
Amman, Jordan ALAIN EPP WEAVER
A Curious Beatitude. By Sarah Klassen. Winnipeg, Man.: The Muses? Company. 2006. Pp. 96. $10.95, U.S.; $14.95, Can.
Sarah Klassen has rather quietly carved out a considerable literary reputation, mainly as a poet (A Curious Beatitude is her sixth book of poems), but also as a fiction writer and editor. Her poems use ?I? only sparingly, preferring more often to turn their attention outward; assured, articulate, reflective, alert to the world and to history, Klassen is always ready to explore the resonances and metaphoric potentials of people, things and history.
The four sections of A Curious Beatitude are organized mainly according to the poems? occasions. The first section, ?Requiem and Magnificat,? contains poems written in response to either music or pieces of visual art. Some of these poems are quite lengthy and ambitious; the opening title poem is a meditation in seven parts that takes its structure from Brahms? Ein Deutsches Requiem. Its wide-ranging stanzas slip from the performance hall to enfold ?Congolese women lithe as saplings?; the speaker?s wry admission that she is ?weight-lifting to curb upper arm flab?; an unnamed child doing her math lessons and the battered cities of Baghdad, New York, and Jerusalem. The seventh section, ?Selig sind die Toten (Blest are the dead),? muses on what a ?curious? blessing that is:
Those left behind could use a blessing.
[ . . . ]
But this beatitude?s intended for the dead
as though, although departed, they remain
with us. As if sorrow becomes blessing;
poverty an asset; loss, gain.
Another highlight of the first section, ?Vacation on Saturna Island,? responds to a photograph of a girl running on a rocky beach by Joan Baker (which also appears on the book?s cover). The description of the girl is fine enough, but her imagined mother is an even more vivid character:
She wishes the stone in her daughter?s hand
were white and had a name engraved,
the stick not quite so fiercely pointed
at both ends. She wishes she
had means to make a rough path plain.
?The Far Country,? the second section, is also built around a long poem, ?Postcards from the Andes,? a sort of travel journal in eight parts. It explores the history, folklore and geography of the Andes, weaving a complex tapestry that includes a doomed young girl (?They don?t intend to rape her, but no one doubts / she must die?) and the Saqsayhuaman temple, which a taxi driver happily mispronounces ?Sexy woman.? The intriguing, elliptical ?Wilderness Wandering? moves through a series of dry mountain settings. It begins and ends in a landscape nearer Klassen?s home, in what she calls ?the essential desert? near Carberry, Manitoba, but roams widely enough to invoke the stories of Abraham and Isaac on Mount Moriah and Moses with the burning bush. The last lines suggest that everyone must ?sojourn like Abraham? in the desert, and offer this advice, which is crucial to her own method of patient, energetic exploration in language and experience: ?Flab gives way to muscle, flesh to spirit, / when you inscribe footprints in the sand. Do not hesitate / and do not hurry.?
In ?The Stripped Garden,? section three, Klassen continues to move (sometimes literally, sometimes figuratively) with neither hesitation nor hurry. The series of shorter poems here contains many images of birds and trees?standard enough?but these common figures are re-examined for their every metaphorical implication and resonance. Often the poems bridge biblical and personal materials. One might not expect a poem entitled ?Genesis? to begin ?Our mother planted her prairie garden in March,? but it does, and then connects the mother?s ?ravenous hope? for new life in springtime with the speaker?s own multilayered garden reverie as she skis through a ?birdless wood?:
Dreaming this wintry world a tangle of lush vines, undergrowth
a person could get lost in. Orchids blooming pink and mauve.
The apple shining on a pristine tree. In its vicinity the serpent coils.
The caroling of newborn birds fills everything and everywhere
light (and the first thin shadow) shivers across the green.
The last section includes several long poems in multiple sections. This reader found ?Slowly from the North,? and a few other poems scattered throughout, a bit slow-moving and short on verbal intensity. But the book closes with two fine long poems dealing with family, memory and mortality. The first, ?German Lessons in the Interlake,? offers a kind of impressionistic, elliptical memoir of an immigrant Mennonite childhood in the region between Lake Manitoba and Lake Winnipeg:
freed by Daughter?s sun-browned fingers
spring from the pod
while Mother?s in another country
and Father in a heat-drenched field is making hay.
Again, the tone is complicated, as nostalgic memories of German-language alphabet blocks are placed beside less comfortable ones. When ?the Winnipeg uncles? visit during World War II, they argue about who will win, ?the Allies / who speak mainly English? / Hitler who is godless?? When Father comes back from chores to find that Hitler winning, he accuses his city brothers of abandoning pacifism.
?German Lessons . . .? becomes a kind of elegy for the poet?s parents. Notable in its own right, it also prepares readers for the last poem, ?Rewinding Time,? another elegy for both the poet?s father and the second millennium, which won a Canadian National Magazine Award (Gold) for poetry. This generous and moving meditation is a fitting end to a generous, moving gathering of poems.
There was music in his blood
and planted in his brain hunger to fashion something new
from something old, hold in his restless agile hands
hammer and saw.
[ . . . ]
We are waiting for the snow, another camouflage. For music to ring out
the old, summon the new. As if our father?s hand had once again
raised the harmonica, his warm lips breathed a new song into it.
Bluffton University JEFF GUNDY
Dissident Discipleship: A Spirituality of Self-Surrender, Love of God, and Love of Neighbor. By David Augsburger. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Brazos Press. 2006. Pp. 245. $19.99.
David Augsburger, a professor of pastoral care and counseling at Fuller Theological Seminary and a widely published author, takes on inadequate views of Christian spirituality by describing a fully-orbed Anabaptist approach. In his view, Christian spirituality is intended to be three-dimensional?involving love for God, others and self. He contends that this rich and radical form of spirituality has been honored by ?a long thin line of dissidents that insistently reaches back to Jesus as mentor? (8). Though he identifies Christians of all kinds of theological stripes in this hallowed legacy, he particularly cites Anabaptists whose spirituality ?broke out in the sixteenth century as a revolutionary movement to recover a bare-bones discipleship to Jesus? (8).
Augsburger takes issue with two forms of spirituality: monopolar and bipolar. Monopolar spirituality focuses on ?one?s inner, subjective encounter with one?s own inner universal self? (11). There are important aspects and benefits of this inward focus, but by itself, it is destructive. He raises similar issues with ?bipolar spirituality? in which inner subjectivity comes into relationship with ?an objective experience of existence before God? (12). Again, there are gifts here as well as dangers and liabilities. He sees much of evangelical Christianity and, indeed, a good part of Reformation Protestantism fitting here.
He is aiming, of course, at ?tripolar spirituality? that ?is inwardly directed, upwardly compliant, and outwardly committed? (13). He believes that this emphasis is amply honored in the Anabaptist context. The bulk of his book amplifies this theme by exploring Christian practices that are?or ought to be?of importance to the whole Christian tradition: radical attachment (Nachfolge Christi or Jngerschaft), stubborn loyalty (Gemeinshaft), tenacious serenity (Gelassenheit), habitual humility (Demut), resolute nonviolence (Friedensfertigkeit), concrete service (Dienst am Nchsten) and authentic witness (Zeugnis or Beisein). Each practice merits a chapter, exploring its theology, implications, inspirational stories and quotes, and other issues. Every chapter also concludes with a hymn or poem; the hymns are often translated by Augsburger from the Ausbund and the poems are his own creations.
The book has a quirky feel at times: his poems, for example, also include recommendations for rhythms as one recites them while walking (in ?peditation?). The book has other Augsburger creations, including his ?Anabaptist core convictions? and his poeticized versions of the Sermon on the Mount and the Lord?s Prayer as appendices. Those who know Augsburger will recognize his particular brand of wit. For my tastes, there were too many stories (some of questionable merit), too many quotes and too much wordplay.
Yet one appreciates what Augsburger is trying to achieve. He is attempting to give us an accessible and readable approach to Anabaptism, one that is current and useful. In that sense, it is a contemporary equivalent of Donald Kraybill?s Upside-Down Kingdom or John Howard Yoder?s The Politics of Jesus. (Augsburger includes a lengthy appendix summarizing Yoder?s approach.) A thorough and readable summation of Anabaptist practices and theology is surely welcome and needed. By now, Kraybill?s work is dated and Yoder?s Politics is not necessarily accessible to the faint of heart. Furthermore, Augsburger is now able to build on the increasing credibility of Anabaptism in the wider church, something that has steadily emerged only in recent years and was not so in the 1970s when Yoder and Kraybill wrote their works. As well, he is able to write in a way that honors other Christian traditions. He manages to negotiate a challenging balance between fiercely promoting Anabaptism while respectfully engaging the wider church. All this is to the good.
But there is room for more than a little quibbling as well. Augsburger, I?m sure, would admit that his portrayal of dissident discipleship is an ideal that is seldom realized even among Anabaptists. There is merit, of course, in pointing to goals, even if we do not reach them. But Augsburger also needs to be pressed on his monopolar, bipolar and tripolar terminology. For one, is Anabaptism better at tripolar than are other traditions? Are not many of our own ?culture war? battles over which poles ought to take priority? For another, is monopolar confined to focusing on one?s self? Could it not also suggest focusing solely on God or on community? (The latter temptation is often particularly strong for Mennonites, in my view.) Similarly, could not bipolar be focused on a different doubled configuration of priorities? And, for that matter, is not ?bipolar? a particularly unfortunate label to use?
At times the book has a catchall feel. One wonders whether this is intended as a summative work for Augsburger. It is not, alas, his best endeavor. Nevertheless, it is a contribution that will be appreciated by many.
Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary ARTHUR PAUL BOERS
Remember the Future: The Pastoral Theology of Paul the Apostle. By Jacob W. Elias. Scottdale, Pa.; Waterloo, Ont.: Herald Press. 2006. Pp. 538. $15.99, U.S.; $19.99, Can.
In Remember the Future, Jacob Elias, a longtime professor of New Testament at Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, has produced a remarkable achievement, going where no one else has gone before. Reflecting years of teaching, research, study and pastoral work, this book is an all-in-one, bringing together a treatment of each canonical letter of Paul, along with an elaboration and reconstruction of contextual factors (?stories?) that surface in each letter, and a systematic treatment of major theological and ethical themes in Paul. While these concerns are usually to be found in separate books, or in differentiated sections of books, here they are brought together into one overall narrative structure, something that Elias admits creates ?significant tension? (25). Each chapter begins with a reconstructed story (through historical or fictional characters) that provides for a more vivid recreation of the contextual setting to a particular letter, continues with a presentation of selected major pastoral and theological concerns of the letter and concludes with a more expansive, systematic treatment of the selected theological and ethical themes by drawing Paul?s other letters into the field of discussion.
The systematic, topical concern shapes the structure of the book. Part 1 introduces ?Paul?s story? (chap. 1) and the all-pervasive, cosmic ?story of Jesus,? through a treatment of Philippians, followed by a discussion of some key titles in Paul?s proclamation of Jesus. Part 2 unpacks ?God?s Unfolding Story,? particularly in its relation to the story narrated in Scripture and Paul?s Jewish heritage. Major themes include: creation and redemption via 1 Corinthians (chap. 3), call/election and promise via Romans (chap. 4), covenant and law (and Spirit) via 2 Corinthians (chap. 5), Israel and the nations (people of God) via Romans (chap. 6), and salvation and judgment via 1 and 2 Thessalonians (chap. 7).
Part 3 is brought together under the rubric ?A Community Shaped by the Future,? exploring the topics of God?s righteousness and justification (and other metaphors of salvation) via Galatians (chap. 8), Spirit and participation in Christ via Galatians (chap. 9), faithfulness, freedom and love (transformed relationships) via Philemon (chap. 10), sexuality and holiness via Colossians (chap. 11), and the church and the powers via Ephesians (chap. 12). Chapter titles in this part correlate with an overall narrative scheme: ?Freed by an invasion of God?s grace [chap. 8], and participating with Christ in the empowerment of the Holy Spirit [chap. 9], the various communities of faith live within transformed relationships [chap. 10] in households of a new order [chap. 11] that engage the surrounding cultures as warriors with God [chap. 12].? A concluding treatment of the themes of suffering, death and hope (along with maintenance and mission, conforming and confronting, leadership and church order) via the Pastoral Epistles (1 and 2 Timothy and Titus) is set apart as part 4.
Two special commitments guide the presentation (19). The first is the desire ?to bring out the future-oriented, though not predictive, character of Paul?s pastoral interventions? (thus the title of the book), in line with the scholarship of J. Christiaan Beker, J. Louis Martyn, N. T. Wright and Richard B. Hays. A second core interest is that of ?a narrative approach to Paul?s pastoral theology and ethics.? The varied stories that have shaped Paul include: that of his own experience, particularly his turnaround from persecutor to Gospel proponent, ?the macro-narrative of Jesus?s cosmic career [that] supplies a focal dynamic for his theology;? the earlier story of Israel (as narrated in Scripture); and the story of each congregation and its members. The story metaphor is put to good service, although occasionally it seems overdone (as in ?The Stories behind the Titles Ascribed to Jesus,? p. 84, or ?The Torah Story,? outlining seven convictions regarding the Law, p. 200).
But most significantly, Elias is motivated by the desire to reclaim Paul as part of the ?operative canon? in the life of the contemporary church. Seeking ?to ease Paul?s letters onto the mental and spiritual horizons of pastors, Sunday school teachers, college and seminary students, and other Bible readers in this later era,? he claims that ?Paul?s pastoral theological endeavors in his time need to have their analogs in ours? (18-19). This choice of primary audience no doubt affects his approach to some of the classic ?critical historical questions? facing Pauline scholarship. Generally, Elias favors a more canonical presentation of Paul (e.g., inclusion of the Pastorals, letter-dating conclusions that are more in harmony with Acts) as opposed to a more rigorously historical approach that is found in most mainstream Pauline scholarship. Elias is not to be faulted for this tack, since it is consonant with the goals of Paul himself: maximal reception by a churchly-based, and yet diverse, audience. Moreover, this presentation does not detract from the presentation itself, and on most of the contested, historical questions, Elias pleads for wide latitude, articulating positions not sharply drawn (e.g., provenance of the prison letters).
There are numerous particular points that could be identified as especially valuable. Throughout, for instance, Elias highlights ways in which Paul?s Gospel of Jesus Christ is preached as a ?counter gospel? to that of Caesar (Thessalonians, Romans, Philippians, Colossians, Ephesians, Titus). Another is the notion of ?underlying momentum? (390) in regard to Paul?s pastoral interventions pertaining to gender and class.
Given the ambitious and comprehensive character of the project, it is understandable that the presentation is occasionally sketchy?on numerous occasions I wanted more (whether in regard to the background story, the actual letter intervention or the treatment of Paul?s coherent convictions). But this is not a serious problem?the discussion is sufficiently suggestive of the major issues that one should not expect every detail to be considered. One item, though, that seemed significantly absent in the presentation of ?Paul?s story? is the matter of Paul?s own personal, linguistic and cultural ?hybridity,? as a result of his diasporic upbringing and its immigrant dynamics. No mention was made, for instance, of Paul?s other (Hebrew) name, Saul. Paul?s occasional rhetorical equivocation, it seems to me, is at times at least partly attributable to internal ambivalence (not a bad thing, necessarily) that goes along with cultural hybridity, not only external factors. In this connection, I was a bit nervous with the tendency to explain Paul?s silencing or restricting rhetoric toward women solely on women?s ?strident voices, ?exuberant claims? or ?destabilizing enthusiasm,? even if ?from Paul?s perspective? (119, 415-419, 487).
While the book displays scholarly depth throughout, the presentation is readable and accessible. I am in complete sympathy with the basic contours and almost all details of the presentation of Paul?s coherent theological perspective, particularly the notion of living in light of the future. But here I wished further discussion of the nature of ?nearness? in Paul, namely his emphasis on the pressure of imminence and on time collapsing in light of the dawning future (which if admitted is, I think, quite scandalous for us, content with history as a long continuum). Elias seemed content, in fact, with Martyn?s bifocal image of the cross as the ?near vision? and the future triumphant reign as the ?far vision.? Perhaps better is his own automotive analogy: the constant rearview mirror image of the cross, against the windshield field of vision, taking in ?the present and the future of God?s ongoing work through Christ by the Spirit among those who align themselves with God. And, strikingly, Paul sees the future already unveiled in the rearview? (62).
This book should become a valuable resource for the churchly interpretation of Paul, helping to bring Paul back into the church?s operative canon.
Canadian Mennonite University GORDON ZERBE
Preparing Sunday Dinner: A Collaborative Approach to Worship and Preaching. By June Alliman Yoder, Marlene Kropf and Rebecca Slough. Scottdale, Pa.: Herald Press. 2005. Pp. 498. $18.99, U.S.; $23.79, Can.
Preparing Sunday Dinner offers readers an exhaustive and tantalizing menu on worship and preaching in the free-church tradition. The writers, all professors at Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, have collaborated on this work, which ties meal-related images to worship. Just as we ask who is coming to dinner, so we also ask who is coming to worship and how we can plan accordingly. Just as a good dinner has courses that conform to a theme and an order, so too we give form to worship. One chapter likens the worship leader to the host of a meal with all of the appropriate responsibilities. There are fourteen chapters and twelve appendices covering everything from theology of worship and conception of worship ideas to execution and evaluation.
The authors? meal-related stories and images are helpful rather than overdone. For instance, the chapter on preaching, entitled ?Preparing the entre,? begins with a discussion of how the entre functions in meal planning. After making a connection between the entre and the sermon, the authors continue with an excellent chapter on preaching. Meal-related metaphors stay in view throughout: we want the words of the text to simmer or marinate over time as we prepare to preach.
The reservation I have with some of the meal stories and images is that they are often drawn from formal gatherings consisting of many courses and served with measured flair and decorum. Ideally, we might think, our Sunday morning worship is a special meal akin to a dinner party. Or is it? And if it is a dinner, what kind? Formal? Informal? Gourmet? Potluck? Given time restraints and general human limitations, leaders in the church are more inclined to find themselves cooking a simple one-course Sunday lunch with whatever is in the fridge. Nonetheless the challenge of good preparation still stands even if the Sunday meal is an informal lunch of the routine, but satisfying, variety.
The central issue?that of collaborative worship planning?is treated not only in chapters entitled ?Cooking collaboratively? and ?Negotiating the politics of Sunday dinner,? but throughout the book. Collaboration is an appropriate word and strategy for the free-church worship tradition. The free-church lives in the tension between free-for-all worship where anything goes in any order by anyone, and formalized, inflexible worship planned by one or a few. The authors recognize these extremes and show us a collaborative way of worship in which there is clear leadership and at the same time community gifts. The book provides instructions on how to set up and work with a worship planning committee. This is no small contribution since we in the free-church tradition are relative novices (forty years?) to the practice of deliberately planning worship, let alone planning worship in community. The authors recognize the gnarly political issues that inevitably surface in planning and making changes in worship.
One of the most welcome chapters is the first one, entitled ?Why eat?? The authors address the foundational question of why we worship, and direct us to a theology of worship in the free-church tradition. In recent years, Mennonite theologies of worship have been attempted mostly in brief paragraphs that introduce minister?s manuals, hymnals and worship resources. Finally, in Preparing Sunday Dinner, we have a theology of worship that is not simply a preface for the practical matters, but one that provides an integral grounding for the worship life of the church. It is in response to God?s love and grace that we worship in three primary movements: praising, confessing and hearing/responding. These three movements are ?not a formula or agenda to cover,? but rather ?become the contours of a relationship? (39). Much of what follows in Preparing Sunday Dinner has to do with how we can best ponder and practice praising, confessing and hearing/responding.
On the issue of theology, I would have welcomed more clarity on the work of the Spirit. The book sometimes implied that if worship does not fall within certain measured parameters, as defined by the authors, worship may not allow the Spirit of God to move. While the epilogue seems to grant grace in this regard, the relationship between human planning and the actions of the Spirit can, at places, seem causal: The Spirit depends on human work. If I do not plan worship properly, the Spirit is less inclined to move. Some discussion of the paradoxical nature of human action and the Spirit?s movements would have been helpful. Put another way, what if the person who was supposed to bring the entree brings flowers instead (and three extra friends) and yet it turns out to be the best dinner party you ever attended? Does not the Spirit move where it will? Jesus told stories and performed actions that worked in prophetic contradiction to the ?well planned dinner? and measured decorum. Perhaps this is where the formal dinner metaphor breaks down. Even so, the paradoxical nature of the work of the Spirit does not get us off the hook with regard to the good advice in Preparing Sunday Dinner on thorough worship planning.
The authors draw much from the humanities to help us discern how we might praise, confess and hear/respond. They bring rich backgrounds in church history, music, communication theory, liturgical and ritual studies, personality profiles and spiritual types. Especially helpful was the chapter entitled ?Enhancing the Fare? in which the authors examine worship and communion services from the perspective of a basic grid for ritual studies. This might be difficult reading for some, but like a rich cheesecake, the density of this dessert of ritual studies is satisfying.
In all, Preparing Sunday Dinner serves the style and flavor of worship theology and practice that has been at the heart of A.M.B.S. curriculum for the last twenty years or so. Together with Hymnal: A Worship Book and the worship outlines and articles in Leader magazine, this book gives us a sense of the shape, style and flavor of worship that continues to develop for most Mennonites in North America. Moreover, it is a practical book for the present and the future as we seek to celebrate the grace and love of God in worship. So take this book and eat it! Best taken in small, one-course (chapter) meals, this is a year?s worth of nourishment for the worship committee and for others in the church who want to deepen their understanding of our weekly communal meal.
Toronto School of Theology ALLAN RUDY-FROESE
Creating the Beloved Community: A Journey with the Fellowship of Reconciliation. By Paul R. Dekar. Telford, Pa.: Cascadia Publishing House. 2005. Pp. 326. $23.95, U.S.; $35.95, Can.
The image of the ?beloved community,? as Paul Dekar notes on his first page, is attributed to Martin Luther King Jr., perhaps the most well-known member of the Fellowship of Reconciliation (F.O.R.). But the symbolic event that launched this religious pacifist movement came decades earlier, in the same month that World War I began. In August 1914, at a railroad station in Germany, two participants in a failed peace conference, a British Quaker and a German pacifist chaplain, shook hands in farewell. The Quaker, Henry Hodgkin, and the chaplain, Friedrich Siegmund-Schultze, affirmed that they were ?one in Christ and can never be at war.? In the following months, the spirit of that historic moment took organizational form in England, on the Continent and, by 1915, in the United States. The founders, all Christian, purposely chose ?Reconciliation? as their goal, intending to express a deeper commitment than simply being for peace and against war. It was ?the art of turning enemies into friends,? with Jesus as chief exemplar.
The subtitle?a journey?correctly portrays a book that is neither organizational chronicle nor journalistic narrative. The lengthy introduction, along with the usual acknowledgments, presents an essential twenty-four-page overview that outlines the ninety-year story of the American F.O.R., introducing many of the movement?s significant people, topics and events.
Six themes, derived from F.O.R. mission statements, shape the chapters in the opening section. In ?Challenging the War System,? Dekar documents efforts to oppose the United States? entry into World War I, and then tells of F.O.R.?s support for conscientious objectors. During World War II, F.O.R. leadership tended toward draft resistance and consequent imprisonment, rather than cooperation with Selective Service.
Chapter 2, on economic injustice, gives major attention to several decades of F.O.R. involvement in industrial conflicts. Reinhold Niebuhr and A. J. Muste were among the prominent voices in the fierce debate over maintaining nonviolence while seeking justice for laborers. The story sketched here is typical of many episodes in this book, introducing scores of near-forgotten figures who struggled against massive systemic injustice.
?Challenging Racism,? one of the longest chapters, begins by outlining F.O.R. initiatives before the 1950s. These include the Harlem Ashram, the Congress of Racial Equality and the 1947 Journey of Reconciliation. Although F.O.R. had no part in the emergence of the Montgomery bus boycott and Martin Luther King Jr., F.O.R. immediately offered crucial low-profile support to the movement via two staff members, Bayard Rustin and Glenn Smiley. F.O.R.?s longtime advocacy for Gandhian nonviolence bore fruit as King infused Gandhi?s techniques with the spirit of Christian love.
The fourth theme, responding to the nuclear threat, is represented by projects such as Ban the Bomb, Food for China and reconciliation exchanges with the Soviet Union. Chapter 5 gives attention to Dai Dong, a transnational project linking war, environmental concerns, poverty and other social issues. While perhaps the most far-reaching initiative in F.O.R.?s history, it did include successful international scientific conferences, but was short-lived (1969-1974).
Chapter 6, on overcoming enmity, describes decades of work to counter stereotyping and hatred. Along with challenging anti-Semitism, F.O.R. staff members related to Japanese-American detention camps during World War II; in later years, the organization sent reconciliation teams to North Korea, Iraq, Colombia, Libya, Vietnam and Central America.
The second part of the book, ?The Widening Network,? includes chapters on links to denominational fellowships, local groups and other religious peace fellowships, as well as many brief reports on nonviolent projects around the world. The final chapter and the epilogue deal with pacifism as lifestyle and spirituality, providing succinct profiles of numerous peacemakers, including the author?s personal journey as a peace activist and scholar.
Over years of exhaustive research, Paul Dekar accumulated a wealth of valuable data that can only be hinted at here. For example, the several pages on each of six denominational peace fellowships introduce scores of individuals and events, with rich documentation in the footnotes. Unfortunately, none of this detail is accessible in the scanty index.
Of particular interest to Mennonite Quarterly Review readers is chapter 7, on the historic peace churches. Dekar understands well the hesitant relations of the historic peace church groups with the Fellowship of Reconciliation. For at least the first half of the century, the sectarian history and rigorous biblical basis of the Church of the Brethren and the Mennonites kept them at arm?s length from F.O.R., which was generally perceived as ?radical and insufficiently Christian? (172). As Dekar observes, the peace churches didn?t really need F.O.R. But F.O.R. has profited from its engagement with the historic peace churches, particularly in cooperative ecumenical efforts such as the consultations with the World Council of Churches in the 1950s.
Focusing on Mennonite involvement, Dekar introduces Carl J. Landes and Donovan Smucker as staff members in the 1940s, and then devotes a paragraph to this reviewer, who became a part-time staff member in the late 1950s. Doug Hostetter and Jo Becker, reared as Mennonites, served F.O.R. as executive secretaries for a decade, from 1987 to 1997.
Dekar?s book, jam-packed with lively description, does not attempt any critique of internal conflicts at the Fellowship of Reconciliation. The debate over adhering to nonviolence in the labor struggles of the 1930s, and the evolution from its Christian basis to an interfaith perspective are mentioned but not analyzed.
From my involvement with the F.O.R. over fifty years, I?ve had the opportunity to meet many of the outstanding leaders?John Nevin Sayre, A. J. Muste, Bayard Rustin, Al Hassler, Glenn Smiley, John Swomley, Richard Deats. For most of these exceptional individuals who found themselves alienated from their original faith communities, F.O.R. served as a surrogate church, as it has for many other committed pacifists, often isolated as countercultural ?lone rangers.?
This engaging narrative should remind those of us from the historic peace churches of the vast and varied company of persistent witnesses to the goal of the beloved community, as well as reassure us of the importance of a peoplehood nurtured in a faith commitment that provides stability and continuity.
Goshen, Ind. J. R. BURKHOLDER
Transforming the Powers: Peace, Justice and the Domination System. Ray Gingerich and Ted Grimsrud, eds. Minneapolis: Fortress Press: 2006. Pp. 227. $20.
The rediscovery of the biblical language of ?principalities and powers? offers Christians an important conceptual framework for analyzing our world from a faith perspective, and for breaking out of the pervasive individualism that so limits our horizons in the West. Walter Wink?s triology of books on ?the powers? (Naming the Powers, Unmasking the Powers, Engaging the Powers, 1984-1992) has been central to this rediscovery.
Wink is one of those crossover theologians who speak both to conservatives and to liberals. Thus, he offers a way into fruitful conversation and dialogue, which in a world of theological (and other) polarization, is not to be despised.
When Wink?s understandings are combined with the insights of the French literary critic and Christian thinker Rene? Girard, whose work on religion and violence, scapegoating and mimetic rivalry and their relationship to Jesus is breathtaking, we have new ways of truly understanding our world. And the radicalism of Christian faith is made new again. We are taken beyond the polarizations of fundamentalism and theological liberalism, both creations of modernity and its worldview. We are given eyes to see again, so that we can find creative ways forward beyond fundamentalism and liberalism.
The book under review brings together papers that were presented at a conference on Wink?s thought, held at Eastern Mennonite University in March 2001. There are two chapters by Wink himself. All thinkers have their deficiencies. Wink?s generally admirable openness and receptiveness to different approaches, disciplines and thinkers have their downside. In this reviewer?s opinion Wink is on shaky ground when he wanders into Jungian psychology. Lost among the archetypes, who knows what dark monsters can jump out from the undergrowth! And I wish he would be careful how he relates the world of subatomic particles?the new physics?to the realm of spirituality; metaphors need to relate to something real. In fact, mention of the new physics leads to a rush of tipsy poetry: ?We?re all one body for good and ill. Likewise attraction is a characteristic of almost everything, from gravity to love. We are all one embrace? (23). And this: ?It is our task to leap nimbly from one image to the next, abandoning what is no longer useful? (27). You are left saying, ?Yes, possibly. But is this not a little bit facile and vacuous?? Wink is a serious and important theologian. But mush is mush.
This book has a lot of valuable contributions and I have space to mention only a few. Nancy Murphy?s chapter, ?Social Science, Ethics and Power,? and Daniel Liechty?s chapter, ?Principalities and Powers: A Social-Scientific Perspective,? raise profound issues about the objectivity of the social sciences and of economics. John Milbank, in his magisterial ?Theology and Social Change,? has also raised some of the same issues. Are there a whole series of assumptions imposed by culture, power, the fallenness of the world, Western intellectual tradition and the academy behind these disciples? If so, what are they? Can we fully see them? Sociology and economics are part of a modern worldview?part of the Powers?and we are all inside it to a greater or lesser extent, even as we try to resist it.
The biblical worldview, in Wink?s understanding, allowed its writers to comprehend the spiritual nature of human systems and structures. The language of demons, angels, spirits, principalities and so on gave biblical writers a way to recognize that social life has both seen and unseen elements. The reappropriation of the language enables us to discover very important realities in our world. However, such reappropriation raises important issues that must be addressed. Willard Swartley?s chapter, ?Jesus Christ: Victory over Evil,? directs us to the fact that exorcisms and healings played a major part in Jesus? ministry. How are we to understand this? Swartley understands the forces of evil as personal beings (much more than Wink does). How are we to deal with this difference in understanding? Perhaps we must start by asking the question: What is the reality that the language of exorcism is seeking to address? Only then can we meaningfully ask whether the forces of evil have ?personality? (and what ?personality? might mean in this context). Wink?s work is valuable no matter how we might ultimately answer the question.
There is an excellent chapter by Glen Stassen on peacemaking, as he broadens and deepens Wink?s insights regarding the ?third way of Jesus.? He even finds a better way of describing this by using the language of ?transforming initiatives??actions that seek to change our way of relating to the enemy and hope to change the enemy?s way of relating to us. A discourse of transforming initiatives offers one way out of the pacifist/nonpacifist debate and challenges pacifists and nonpacifists alike to find creative actions that do not involve retaliation. It also has the virtue of getting us beyond mere moralizing about conflict and violence.
Similarly, Stassen?s chapter on justice usefully fills out an area to which Wink has not given close attention. To Stassen?s credit, he draws on the Jewish thinker Michael Walzer. We need conversation partners from other Christian traditions, from other religious traditions and from serious secular thinkers. We need to be challenged and corrected, and we need ?a public ethic of justice if we are to make our witness. We need to be able to speak a language that communicates in multicultural, multiethnic, multifaith societies? (171). We must be faithful to the distinctiveness of our particular tradition, in all its ?thickness.? And we need to reach beyond the bonds of our tradition.
I have been able to touch on only some of the issues raised by the contributors to this book. What the book clearly shows is that the ?Principalities and Powers? language offers an important way of seeing our world. A significant aspect of biblical understanding has come alive again.
Corrymeela Community, Belfast, Northern Ireland DAVID STEVENS
The Muria Story: A History of the Chinese Mennonite Churches of Indonesia. By Lawrence M. Yoder. Kitchener, Ont.: Pandora Press. 2006. Pp. 386. $34, U.S.; $38, Can.
In 1918 a Chinese businessman in Kudus, Java, Indonesia, suffering a deep personal crisis that affected him physically and psychologically, came to faith in Jesus Christ. His wife, who was sympathetic to Christian faith but had not herself yet made a profession, encouraged him in his quest to find relief through spiritual counsel and guidance. The businessman, Tee Siem Tat, made contact with several Christian leaders but found the Salvation Army leader in a nearby town to be the most helpful initially.
Tee had been a successful entrepreneur and community leader. Now his life was reoriented around a new center and he began evangelizing family and friends, and reaching out to the wider Chinese community located in towns and villages around the Muria mountain on the northern coast of Central Java. This happened to be the area where the Dutch Mennonite Mission had been at work since 1852. Tee sought out the Mennonite missionaries and became convinced that their teaching on believer?s baptism was the correct one and that he wanted to adopt it as the basis for the budding church.
This started a series of awkward encounters between Tee and the Mennonite Mission. In 1920 he invited a Mennonite missionary to baptize him and the initial group of sixteen people. The mission had earlier tried to initiate a witness among the Chinese community and had hired a Chinese evangelist for this purpose. But the results were negligible. Now, through local initiative a movement of evangelization of the Chinese was under way and there appeared to be opportunity for collaboration between this young church and the mission. However, the Russian Revolution in 1917 made it impossible to continue sending support for Russian Mennonite missionaries working in Java, leaving the mission strapped for funds and workers. The mission took the stance that their first responsibility remained the Javanese people and it could not take on a new relationship. Yet when Tee registered his new church with the government, it had ?Doopgezind? in the official name; but no formal relationship was ever established between the Dutch Mennonite Mission and the Chinese church.
By the time Tee died in 1941 he was disillusioned with the Mennonite Mission and wanted no further contact. Nonetheless, the relationships with both the Javanese Mennonite Church and the Mennonite Mission, and later Mennonite Central Committee, were never completely broken off. Eventually, this church would furnish two presidents of Mennonite World Conference, Charles Christano and Mesach Krisetya.
This careful study of the origins and development of the Chinese Mennonite churches in Indonesia by Lawrence M. Yoder grows out of his decade of service in Indonesia where he worked closely with both the Chinese and Javanese Mennonite churches. The book is divided into six parts and thirty-one chapters and structured to follow developments chronologically between 1918 and 1980. It is copiously documented with references to official minutes of local congregations and the conference boards.
Several themes stand out. From the beginning Tee Siem Tat struggled to find a satisfactory polity for this new church. He borrowed some features from the Reformed churches and some from the Mennonites, and improvised what he thought would be a workable system. But running through this history is the ongoing struggle to find a functional polity. Entrepreneurialism and lay leadership have characterized this church from the beginning. Although Tee Siem Tat was ordained several years after the founding of the church, neither he nor the other two men who were ordained for church leadership had any formal training. Lay people did much of the evangelization. The death of Tee in 1941 removed the strong founding leader and the weaknesses of the polity soon became evident.
Tee?s successor as leader of the church was his son-in-law, Tan King Ien. Like Tee, Tan was a businessman and preacher. The need for trained pastors was increasingly evident; but many of the tensions in the church over the next three decades revolved around loyalty on the part of the older and more traditional members, on the one side, and younger people who saw the need for a new kind of leadership, on the other. The shift to trained leadership was finally made in the 1970s.
The relationship between the Javanese Mennonite Church, to which the Dutch Mennonite Mission related, and the Chinese Mennonite Church has been marked by repeated attempts at cooperation. None of these efforts have been successful in the long term. Cultural differences have been a major barrier to the success of these attempts.
Overshadowing life for all ethnic Chinese living in Indonesia is their problematic status. Although most Chinese have lived in Indonesia for many generations, their situation has remained ambiguous. Dutch colonial policy gave the Chinese certain privileges in terms of education and opportunity to enter the civil service, business and the professions that were not available to indigenous ethnic groups. But Chinese were not allowed to acquire land. They lived in towns and villages where they were shopkeepers, professionals and entrepreneurs. For several generations Chinese have been a major force in the Indonesian economy. After Indonesia became independent, notwithstanding the idealism of the Panca Sila (the five principles on which the new nation was based) and their economic and educational advantages, the Chinese have not achieved full acceptance. In times of political crisis the Chinese minority has repeatedly been subjected to burning, looting and violence.
In spite of the ever-present interethnic tensions, since the late 1960s the Chinese Mennonite Church in Indonesia has engaged in evangelization, social ministries, and peace and reconciliation on several Indonesian islands, among a range of ethnic groups. This commitment to minister across ethnic boundaries has resulted in a substantial growth in church membership.
The main thread of this history is the struggle over governance and leadership. Other important themes are noted, but not fully developed. For example, the theological identity of the Chinese Mennonite Church is a hybrid based on the Chinese evangelistic tradition (kept alive by periodic preaching tours in Indonesia by well-known Chinese evangelists from Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore), Pentecostal-charismatic influences, nondenominational Bible institutes where some of the pastors were trained since the 1960s, Mennonite theology and ecumenical theology. The absence of viable Mennonite theological education for most of the sixty years covered by Yoder?s history can be credited with playing an important role in the outcome.
For the uninitiated, it is nearly impossible to keep the names of people and places in mind. Since the 1960s, under government pressure, many Chinese have adopted indigenous Indonesian names, scrambling ethnic identities. The names of leaders prior to 1970 follow the traditional pattern; since that time most Chinese have changed their names. Yoder has tried to identify people carefully, but there is no easy solution.
This history will remain the standard reference for the story of the founding and development up to 1980 of the Indonesian Chinese Mennonite Church. Few Mennonite-related churches in Asia, Africa and Latin America have a comparable resource.
Elkhart, Ind. WILBERT R. SHENK
Thank You for Asking: Conversing with Young Adults about the Future Church. By Sara Wenger Shenk. Scottdale, Pa.: Herald Press. 2005. Pp. 276. $14.99, U.S.; $18.79, Can.
This book is a collection of responses from fifty-six young adults who were interviewed, both individually and in small groups, by a team of eight other young adults under the supervision of Sara Wenger Shenk, associate dean and associate professor of Christian education at Eastern Mennonite Seminary. As qualitative research, the study focuses on the stories of these young adults rather than on numerical calculations or broad generalizations about this age group. Wenger Shenk sought to ?invite Mennonite-affiliated young adults? to engage in three tasks: ?become critically aware of the narratives and practices that currently give meaning and identity to their lives?; ?actively deliberate about what narratives and practices most readily enable them to live in response to God?s presence in the world, particularly as they have seen it modeled in Jesus Christ?; ?and to imagine the future narratives and practices that should characterize communities of faith to which they might want to belong, thus showing the way into the emerging church of the future? (271).
After some introductory comments regarding the characteristics of young adults generally and the roles that narratives and practices play in human development, Wenger Shenk devotes the next two parts of the book to young adult reflections about formative narratives and the practices in their lives. The ?Narratives? section includes associations with childhood, church, Bible, Jesus, cultures and people of other faiths. The ?Practices? section includes stories from childhood and faith communities, as well as practices the interviewees hope to embrace in future family life. The next section witnesses to their vision for the future Mennonite Church through responses to the questions: Should the Mennonite Church continue to exist? Do you want to be part of the Mennonite Church?
The final chapter includes summative comments by Wenger Shenk based on all the interviews. Young adults shared conflicting stories about the Bible, even though they have a desire to know more about the Bible. They had positive feelings toward their Jesus narratives, but Wenger Shenk suggests the church must put more energy into better describing who Jesus is to young people. As for formative practices, she encourages the church to have more dialogue about the different types of practices that we should engage in. Young adults are yearning to engage in practices as part of a faith community, but it is also clear that these practices must foster a ?whole spirituality??one that integrates all of life. Overall, she hears a resounding ?yes? that these young adults want to be part of the Mennonite Church; however, the ?yes? is often followed by ?but? or ?if.? Young adults want accountability and want to be mentored, but they also desire a place of authenticity that welcomes their questions and candid comments about the realities of life.
This ethnographic study not only invites the reader to hear the stories of different people and perspectives, but also forces the interviewees to articulate their beliefs and thoughts. Further, this study involved young adults in a process that encourages them to reflect more deeply on their own life experiences. This approach underscores the importance of simply taking time to listen to young adults and offers a model.
Another benefit is that the study gives church leaders a glimpse into what young adults glean from their families and faith communities, while also hinting at areas for improvement. In particular, I was intrigued by Wenger Shenk?s list of twenty-three practices that have traditionally characterized Mennonite faith communities (162) and the young adult responses to whether or not they thought they were ?very,? ?somewhat? or ?not? important for the church or themselves. Sexual fidelity, integrity of being and doing, forgiveness and reconciliation, and mutual care within the community topped the list, while non-swearing of oaths and modest attire were deemed not important.
This study also offers a hopeful picture for young adult involvement in the life of the church and suggests that a holistic spirituality, as opposed to a dichotomous or polarized one, draws them to the Mennonite Church. Facets of this faith embody integrity and authenticity, which can encourage the entire church to strive for the best of what our Mennonite beliefs and practices have to offer to this world and to other Christians. These young adult passions and voices will help keep the church honest with itself, as long as the church intentionally invites these perspectives into safe, mentoring contexts.
One disappointment I had with the book was that it devoted many pages simply to reproducing interviewees? responses to similar questions. I would have appreciated more interpretation and synthesis of the comments, identification of common threads, and suggestions for what church leaders can do to encourage faith in young adults. In addition, the conclusions in the sections on practices and narratives seemed thin, merely providing additional information.
This critique is related to a limitation of the ethnographic study, and the scope of this one in particular: it is heavily weighted to the voices of college-educated Mennonite young adults (fifty-four of fifty-six interviewees) who received their education from a Mennonite college (forty-three of fifty-six). Today, approximately half of Mennonites graduating from high school attend college and roughly one-fourth study in a Mennonite educational institution. It is important to bear these figures in mind and not assume that the views of this book necessarily represent all Mennonite young adults. In addition, it seems that most of the interviewees were from the eastern part of the United States. I wonder how different young adult responses would be if this same study were duplicated in other parts of the United States or in Canada, and if a larger number of young adults who did not go to college would be included.
A final caution I have is illustrated by the way Wenger Shenk describes how her grandfather, A. D. Wenger (1867-1935), along with other influential ?young adult activist? peers of his generation, reshaped the Mennonite Church. She quotes a colleague who asked: ?When was the last time twenty-somethings significantly reshaped the church?? At this point in the story, A. D. Wenger was in his early 30s, which according to Wenger Shenk?s use of Sharon Daloz Parks?s definition of young adulthood, excludes him from the young adult camp. More important, it was not clear to me exactly how Wenger Shenk was connecting this story of a hundred years ago to the current reality of young adults, and I would be careful in labeling Wenger and others from that era as ?young adults? in the way that we use this term today. Typical ?adulthood markers,? such as getting married and owning a home, now occur later in life, suggesting that today?s age of young adulthood has shifted. A century ago the responsibilities and expectations of 25-year-olds were significantly different from those today, and we must be careful when comparing young adulthood across time.
Overall, this book is a helpful contribution to the Mennonite Church as it grapples with engaging young adults in the life of the church and nurturing their lifelong faith in Jesus Christ.
Goshen College BOB YODER
Against the Draft: Essays on Conscientious Objection from the Radical Reformation to the Second World War. By Peter Brock. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. 2006. Pp. 462. $80.
A noted historian of pacifism, Peter Brock, has assembled twenty-five essays on conscientious objection, which he wrote over a period of thirty years. Many of the articles are revisions of pieces published elsewhere (including in The Mennonite Quarterly Review), and now include updated citations to the most recent literature in the field. The essays cover topics across time and around the world, from Poland and Norway to Japan and New Zealand. Brock details experiences of Socinians, Quakers, Adventists, Tolstoyans, Jehovah?s Witnesses and others. Of special interest to Mennonite Quarterly Review readers is the significant Mennonite content in chapter 3, ?Conscientious Objection among the Doopsgezinden?; chapter 5, ?Conscientious Objection in Revolutionary and Napoleonic France?; chapter 6, ?The Peace Sects of Upper Canada and the Military Question?; chapter 19, ?Imperial Russia at War and the Conscientious Objector, August 1914-February 1917?; and chapter 21, ?Experiences of Conscientious Objectors in the Soviet Union to 1945.?
Smoke Jumping on the Western Fire Line: Conscientious Objectors during World War II. By Mark Matthews. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. 2006. Pp. 302. $29.95.
In thirteen brief chapters, Mark Matthews, a journalist and former U.S. Forest Service firefighter, tells the story of World War II conscientious objectors who served as smoke jumpers at Civilian Public Service Camp No. 103, near Missoula, Montana. Smoke jumpers parachuted into remote areas to fight forest fires, thereby engaging in dangerous, but celebrated, work that contradicted public perceptions of C.O.?s as cowards. Matthews introduces Forest Service smoke jumping (which had begun in 1939), the historic peace churches and legal mechanisms for alternative service. Half the book then details the C.P.S. smoke jumpers? training and experiences?both the routine and the harrowing. Matthews also describes local community interaction with this C.P.S. camp, and the smoke jumpers? ?lifelong commitment? to service after the war. Matthews?s major sources of information were interviews in the 1990s with former camp director Roy Wenger, and three volumes of letters and memoirs that Wenger had collected from men and women who served in the camp from 1943 to 1946.
Goshen College Steven M. Nolt
Emmy Barth, Woodcrest Archives, Rifton, NY 12471. E-mail: EmmyBarth@mailstack.com
Prof. Craig S. Farmer, Dept. of History and Humanities, Milligan College, Milligan College, TN 37682. E-mail: email@example.com
Tom Harder, 654 S Chautauqua St Wichita, KS, 67211. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Prof. Rod Janzen, McDonald Hall 255, Fresno Pacific University, 1717 South Chestnut Avenue Fresno, CA 93702-4709. E-mail: email@example.com
Kyle C. Kopko, Department of Political Science, The Ohio State University, 2086 Derby Hall, 154 North Oval Mall, Columbus, OH 43210. E-mail: Kopko.firstname.lastname@example.org
Prof. Donald B. Kraybill, Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies, Elizabethtown College, One Alpha Drive, Elizabethtown, PA 17022-2298. E-mail: Kraybilld@etown.edu
 . Church History 13 (Mar. 1944), 3-24; MQR 18 (Apr., 1944), 67-88. Return to Text
 . James M. Stayer, Werner O. Packull and Klaus Depperman, ?From Monogenesis to Polygenesis: The Historical Discussion of Anabaptist Origins,? MQR 49 (Apr. 1975), 83-121. Return to Text
 . In other words, although of Russian Mennonite background and thus with a bias toward the General Conference Mennonites, he was from neither of the larger Mennonite denominations in the U.S. Return to Text
 . James C. Juhnke, p. xi, in the ?Introduction,? of History & Ideology. Return to Text
 . Ibid. Return to Text
 . Quoted by Sawatsky, p. 128, from an editorial by Bender in MQR 5 (Apr. 1931), 85 Return to Text
 . Pp. 128-129, including a quotation from an editorial by Bender in MQR 5 (Jan. 1931), 5 Return to Text
 . Sociology Looks at Religion (London: The Macmillan Co., 1969), 97. 280 The Mennonite Quarterly Review 279 Book Reviews 273 MQR 81 (April 2007)