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Juhnke to speak on the Battle of Germantown

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – James Juhnke will give the second of two programs, sponsored by the Friends of the MLA (Mennonite Library and Archives at Bethel College), to come from a conference last fall in Philadelphia that marked the 300th anniversary of the oldest Mennonite church in North America.

Juhnke, Bethel professor emeritus of history, will speak on “The Battle of Germantown and American Freedom” Tuesday, March 10. The program is at 7 p.m. in the Administration Building chapel and is free and open to the public.

The program is based on the keynote address Juhnke gave last October at “Germantown: Gateway to North American Mennonite History.” In the address, Juhnke examines the battle between British troops and colonial forces in October 1777, putting it in the context of the War for Independence and that war into the larger picture of the story of American freedom.

“I do look at the meaning of the war to the Mennonites in Philadelphia at the time,” he said, “and how Mennonites today should think about the way Mennonites responded then. For me, it’s a broader critique of violent warfare and its place in the ethos of American history, the common belief that ‘without a violent revolution, we couldn’t be a free country.’”

For directions to the Administration Building chapel or more information on the Friends of the MLA, call 316-284-5360.

Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Founded in 1887, it is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and was the only Kansas private college to be ranked in’s listing of “America’s Best Colleges” for 2008 and one of only two Kansas colleges listed in Colleges of Distinction 2008-09. For more information, see the Bethel Web site at

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