Professor of History, MHL Director, MQR Editor, ISGA Director
- B.A., Goshen College, 1981
- M.A., University of Chicago, 1983
- Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1989
Wyse Hall 301 (Map)
My current passion is research and writing on the global Anabaptist-Mennonite church and promoting several projects related to the Institute for the Study of Global Anabaptism (ISGA). The ISGA has given leadership to the Global Anabaptist Wiki , a website that enables Anabaptist groups from around the world to provide information about themselves and to post relevant texts, photos and archival sources. We also sponsor the “Bearing Witness Stories Project,” a collaborative project to collect and shares stories of Christian faithfulness amid adversity within the Anabaptist-Mennonite global family. The first publication from this project, Bearing Witness: Stories of Martyrdom and Costly Discipleship (Plough, 2015) is now available in print. In addition, the ISGA supports a “texts in translation” series that helps to make some of the creative theological and historical work being done outside of North America accessible to English-speaking readers. Our first volume–John Driver’s Life Together in the Spirit: A Radical Spirituality for the Twenty-First Century–is now available (firstname.lastname@example.org).
In the course of the coming year, the ISGA will publish the results of the “Global Anabaptist Profile”–a survey of 24 Anabaptist-Mennonite groups from around the world undertaken in partnership with Mennonite World Conference that compiled basic demographic data and insights on faith, beliefs, and worship practices.
We hope that all of this projects will deepen a sense of fellowship and mutual connectedness within the global family of faith.
Watch for more information about the ISGA and its projects in the coming months!
CORE 171 RW. GC Sem: World Christianity. Why is Christianity growing so rapidly in most parts of the world while it appears to be declining in Europe and North America? This course will investigate assumptions about secularization and globalization. It will look especially at Catholicism, African Indigenous Churches, Pentecostalism, and the Anabaptist-Mennonite church. Students will participate in interpreting data gathered in primary research by the professor. A Religious World course in the Goshen Core.
HIST 204 RW: What is the Good Life? Why do humans long for utopia, yet consistently fail to produce it? To what extent do we assert our individual freedom in creating the communities we live in, and to what extent do we recognize our lives as resting on forces beyond our control? Is it still possible, in our postmodern context, to anticipate the future with hope? Drawn from five centuries of utopian thought, the readings, discussions and assignments in this course will focus on three general themes: human nature, human community, and human encounters with Transcendence. A Religious World course in the Goshen Core.
HIST 304: Renaissance and Reformation. Topical survey of European civilization in the period from about 1300 to 1550. Intellectual, cultural and religious changes receive most attention, along with assessment of the impact and relevance of the era for modern and post-modern life.
HIST 315: War and Peace in Twentieth Century Europe. Exploration of major European political, cultural, intellectual and economic developments since the 1890s. Major themes include; modernism, the onset of totalitarianism and totalitarian regimes in Europe and the Soviet Union, war as an agent of social change, the Cold War, the dissolution of Soviet-style communism in Eastern Europe and peace-making efforts throughout the century.
HIST 318: Anabaptist-Mennonite History. Introduction to Mennonite history and thought, with particular attention devoted to the contemporary global Anabaptist-Mennonite church. Special attention given to distinctive Anabaptist religions ideas, changes in Mennonite religious ideas and practice in Europe, migrations, and contrasts in social-communal practices among Mennonite and related groups.
“Anabaptism/Teaching that Transforms,” Lancaster (PA) Mennonite Schools – 3 sessions (Sept. 4); “Tagung über Mennoniten in der NS-Zeit,” Mennonitische Geschichtsverein, Münster, Germany (Sept. 25-29); Faithbuilders Educational Programs, Guys Mills, PA – accreditation visit (Oct. 23); “Just Peacemaking: Christian Pacifism as a Form of Political Responsibility,” LWF Reformation in Global Perspectives, Windhoeck, Namibia (Oct. 27-Nov. 3); Conrad Grebel College (Ont)., Ana-Menn textbook review committee (Nov. 13-15); “The Earth is the Lord’s: Sharing the Anabaptist Story in the 21st Century,” Hopewell (IN) Mennonite Church (Nov. 22); “The Global Anabaptist Movement and its Meaning in the 21st Century,” keynote + 5 presentations, Korean Anabaptist Conference, Seoul, Korea (Jan. 20-25); “Who is Jesus?: Christian Convictions, Religious Toleration, and the Future of the Christian Faith,” Eastern Mennonite (VA) University – chapel (Feb. 5); “Taproot or Rhizome? Retelling Brethren and Mennonite Stories as if the Global Church Mattered,” Valley Brethren and Mennonite Heritage Center, Harrisonburg, VA – banquet (Feb. 5); MWC Executive Committee and Faith/Life Commission, Salatiga, Indonesia (Feb. 12-19); Virginia Mennonite Conf. Minister’s Retreat, Williamsburg, VA – 5 sessions (Feb. 26-28); “Paying it Forward: Stewardship in the Anabaptist Tradition,” Everence seminar, Kidron, OH (April 7); “The Beauty of Holiness,” Eastern Mennonite Seminary Commencement (April 30); “Understandings of Art and Beauty in the Anabaptist Tradition,” Dandelion Seed Conference, Syracuse, IN (May 21); “The Earth is the Lord’s: Sharing the Anabaptist Story in the 21st Century,” Salem (OH) Mennonite Church (May 22); Plough Publishing, NYC (May 23-24); “Declaring What We Have Seen and Heard,” South Central Conference Assembly – 3 sessions (June 10-11); “Expressing Our Faith in a Complicated World: The Beauty of Holiness,” Whitestone (Hesston, KS) Mennonite Church (June 12); “Without Spot or Wrinkle: Discipline, Separation and Authority in the Mennonite Tradition,” Believers Church Conference (Acadia Uni/Wolfville, Nova Scotia) – keynote address (June 22-25)
Speaking Engagements/Travel/ISGA work: Met with LWF “Task Force on the Mennonite Action,” Utrecht, Netherlands (July 29-31); “Shaking Historicism: Reflections of a ‘Confessional’ Historian,” paper given at a symposium in honor of Constantin Fasolt, Uni. of Chicago (Sept. 13); attended “The Church and Post-Christian Culture,” Missio Alliance conf, Harrisburg, PA (Sept. 19-20); Bearing Witness Steering Committee, Goshen, IN (Oct. 3-5); “World War I: Dissent, Activism and Transformation,” Georgian Court Uni. (Oct. 17-18); Represented MWC at Consultation on Global Education, Fresno Pacific Uni (Oct. 20-21); preached for Mission Sunday, Orrville (OH) Menn. Church (Nov. 2); spoke at CMC’s Men’s Luncheon, Goshen (Nov. 19); evening presentations on Anabaptist History, Riverview Conservative Mennonite Church, White Pigeon, MI (Oct. 5; Nov. 2; Dec. 7); preached at Hively Mennonite, Elkhart (Jan 25); presentation at Mennohof (“Paying It Forward: Joyful Stewardship in the Anabaptist Tradition,” Jan 25); “Vision of the Future of the Church,” East Goshen Mennonite (Feb. 8); 4 keynote presentations at the Canadian Association of Mennonite Schools conference, Winnipeg, MB (Feb. 11-13); presentation on MWC at College Mennonite Church (Feb. 15); “Being the Body Together? What are we Learning from Interchurch Relations that can help us be church together” North Goshen Mennonite Church (April 11); Behind the Scenes of MWC Assembly 16,” College Mennonite Church (April 15); 3 keynote presentations at the Illinois Mennonite Conference Assembly, (April 17-18); “MWC/LWF Reconciliation: Its History and Significance,” retired Lutheran pastors, Grace Lutheran Church, Chicago (May 12); research at the Lutheran Ecumenical Institute, Strasbourg (May 20-21); planning meetings for MWC, Vienna and Hamburg (May 22-27); Hosted Karl and Doris Kienitz (Brazil) for research in MHL (June 13- July 18); supervised work of Tim Litwiller on MWC-related video projects in the Maple Scholars program (June 1- July 31); Workshop on Ecumenism, MCUSA convention, Kansas City, July 2.
New translation, foreword and annotations of: Martin Luther, Obs K[r]iegs leutte auch ynn seligem stande seyn kuenden [“Whether Soldiers, Too, Can Be Saved?”] and Vom Kriege wider die Türcken [“On War Against the Turks”], for The Essential Luther: Fortress Annotated Study Edition, ed. Hans Hillerbrand, Kirsti Stjerna, Timothy Wengert (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, forthcoming).
“Hoffman, Melchior” and “Anabaptists/Spiritualists” in Dictionary of Luther and the Lutheran Tradition, ed. Timothy Wengert, Robert Kolb, Jonathan Strom, Mary Jane Haemig, Mark Mattes, and Mark Granquist (Baker Academic, forthcoming).
“Radical and Dissenting Groups, 1517-1650,” Cambridge History of Theology (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming)
“Historical Conditions of Mennonite Peacebuilding Approaches: Global Anabaptism and Neo-Anabaptism,” in Andrew Klager, ed. From Suffering to Solidarity: The Historical Seeds of Mennonite Interreligious, Interethnic, and International Peacebuilding (Eugene, Ore.: Pickwick Publications, 2015), 90-114.
“The Limits of Confessionalization: Social Discipline, the Ban, and Political Resistance Among Swiss Anabaptists, 1550-1700,” Mennonite Quarterly Review (October, 2015), 517-538.
“The Emergence of Mennonite Peacebuilding in an International Perspective: Global Anabaptism and Neo-Anabaptism,” Mennonite Quarterly Review (April 2015), 229-252.
Editor and project manager for a new edition of John Driver, Life Together in the Spirit: Radical Spirituality in the 21st Century (Plough Publishing, 2015).
“Global Anabaptism: Stories from the Global Church” [monthly column in The Mennonite]
“Global Window” [The Mennonite World Review] – ended in January, 2016
Constantine Revisited: Engaging Peter Leithart’s Defending Constantine, ed. John D. Roth (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2013).
Teaching That Transforms: Why Anabaptist-Mennonite Education Matters (Scottdale, Pa.: Herald Press, 2011). [Spanish translation, 2015]
John Driver, Life Together in the Spirit: A Radical Spirituality for the Twenty-First Century (Goshen, Ind.: ISGA, 2011) [editor/publisher]
Healing Memories: Reconciling in Christ. Report of the Lutheran-Mennonite International Study Commission (Strasbourg: Mennonite World Conference / Geneva: Lutheran World Federation, 2010); German translation: Heilung der Erinnerungen—Versöhnung in Christus. Bericht der Internationalen lutherisch-mennonitischen Studienkommission. [co-written with Timothy Wengert and other members of the dialogue team]
Täufer und Reformierte im Disput: Texte des 17. Jahrhunderts über Verfolgung und Tolerenz aus Zürich und Amsterdam. Hrsg. Philipp Wälchli, Urs B. Leu and Christian Scheidegger, unter mitarbeit von John D. Roth (Zurich: Achius Verlag, 2010)
Practices: Mennonite Worship and Witness (Scottdale, Pa.: Herald Press, 2008)
A Companion to Anabaptism and Spiritualism, 1521-1700, ed. John D. Roth and James Stayer (Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 2007)
Stories: How Mennonites Came to Be (Scottdale, Pa.: Herald Press, 2006)
Beliefs: Mennonite Faith and Practice (Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 2005). [Korean trans., 2016]
Choosing Against War: A Christian View (Intercourse, PA: Good Books, 2002). [Trans. into Korean and German]
Letters of the Amish Division: A Sourcebook, trans. and ed. by John D. Roth. 2nd edition (Goshen, IN: Mennonite Historical Society, 1993, 2002).
Engaging Anabaptism: Conversations with a Radical Tradition, ed. John D. Roth (Scottdale, PA: Mennonite Publishing House, 2001).
Migrant Muses: Mennonite/s Writing in the U.S. (Goshen, IN: Mennonite Historical Society, 1998). Co-editor (along with Ervin Beck).
Refocusing a Vision: Shaping Anabaptist Character in the 21st Century, John D. Roth, editor (Goshen, Ind.: Mennonite Historical Society, 1995).
Costa Rica (Fall, Spring, Summer 1995-1996)