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Latin American scholar to give 54th Menno Simons Lectures

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NORTH NEWTON, KS. -- Jaime Adrián Prieto Valladares, professor of theology at Latin American Biblical University in San José, Costa Rica, will deliver the 54th annual Menno Simons Lectures Oct. 30-Nov. 1 at Bethel College. Prieto’s theme for his four-lecture series is "Latin American Mennonite History."

A native of Costa Rica, Prieto has a bachelor’s degree from Latin American Biblical University, bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the National University of Costa Rica and a doctorate from the University of Hamburg, Germany. He recently completed a four-year term as president of Latin American Biblical University.

Prieto has published two books and numerous articles in Spanish, German and English in the fields of theology, history and missiology.

"As lead author of the Latin American Mennonite History volume, Jaime Prieto has unique insights into the rich and complex history of Mennonites in that continent," said Mark Jantzen, Bethel College assistant professor of history. "Just as important is the fact that his own life embodies one of the key themes in that history, namely how Latin Americans have made the story of Jesus as understood by Mennonites their own story and have turned around to bless Mennonites in North America and across the world with the courage and dignity of their witness."

Prieto will speak at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 30, Monday, Oct. 31, and Tuesday, Nov. 1, as well as in Bethel College’s convocation at 11 a.m. on Oct. 31. All sessions will be held in Krehbiel Auditorium in the Fine Arts Center on the Bethel campus and are free and open to the public.

The John P. and Carolyn Schrag Kaufman family established the Menno Simons Lectureship Endowment to promote research and public lectures by recognized scholars relating to Anabaptist-Mennonite history, thought, life and culture, past and present. Since 1997, the family of William E. and Meta Goering Juhnke has also contributed substantially to the endowment. Both families have their roots in the Moundridge area.

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