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Latest issue of Mennonite Life includes conference papers

July 27th, 2018

Threshing stone

The 2018 issue of Mennonite Life is now live at, and includes a number of contributions from lecture series and conferences.

“The many contributions to this very full issue represent an impressive range of authors and topics,” said editor Brad Born, Bethel professor of English.

Seven of the articles originated as scholarly presentations at either Bethel College or Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, Virginia.

The opening essay by Perry Bush, professor of history at Bluffton (Ohio) College, is based on lectures he delivered at Bethel in the 2016 Menno Simons Lecture Series. It looks at the differences between Mennonite churchman Guy F. Hershberger and Church of the Brethren pastor-activist Kermit Eby on the question of whether Anabaptist people should join labor unions.

Four of the essays – by Luann Good Gingrich and Kerry Fast, Lynette Sarah Plett, Lisa Schirch, and Karen Suderman – are based on papers presented at the June 2017 conference hosted by EMU, “Crossing the Line: Women of Anabaptist Traditions Encounter Borders and Boundaries.”

Two offerings come from the March 2018 conference that Bethel hosted, “Mennonites and the Holocaust”: Joachim Wieler’s essay reflecting on his father’s participation in the Nazi army, and an excerpt from the play Heart of the World, with an explanatory note by Helen Stoltzfus.

Five additional contributions come from Bethel College faculty and undergraduate students.

Peter Goerzen, campus pastor and instructor of Bible and religion, offers a personal and theological reflection on the announced closing of Grace University in Omaha, Nebraska, this spring.

John Thiesen provides two research pieces from his work as archivist at the Mennonite Library and Archives.

Finally, said Born, “I’m delighted to include in these pages, among the work of professional teachers and writers, the scholarship of two 2018 Bethel graduates, Nathan Kroeker and Austin Regier.”

Respectively, the two papers, adapted from senior seminars, examine the 50-year history of the Kansas Mennonite Men’s Chorus, and look at the relationship between selected social factors and religious viewpoints among Mennonites.

Also included in this issue are reviews of Rebel Mother: My Childhood Chasing the Revolution, by Peter Andreas; Design for Living: Regard, Concern, Service and Love, by Robert Friedmann, edited by Maxwell Kennell; Living on the Edge of the Edge: Letters to a Younger Colleague, by Ruth Krall with Lisa Schirch; The Pastor Wears a Skirt: Stories of Gender and Ministry, by Dorothy Nickel Friesen; and When the English Fall: A Novel, by David Williams.

Bethel College ranks at No. 1 in College Consensus’ ranking of Kansas colleges and universities, and is the only Kansas private college listed in the analysis of top colleges and universities, the Washington Monthly National Universities-Liberal Arts section and the National Liberal Arts College category of U.S. News & World Report, all for 2017-18. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

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As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.