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Mennonite historian will examine ethicist’s peace legacy in Friends of MLA lecture

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – A long-time teacher and writer on U.S. Mennonite history will give the first Friends of the MLA presentation of the 2010-11 school year at Bethel College.

Theron F. Schlabach, Goshen, Ind., will speak Friday, Oct. 15, on “The Guy F. Hershberger Era in Mennonite Peace Thought: Is It Past?” The Mennonite Library and Archives (MLA) at Bethel College sponsors these periodic presentations on topics related to Mennonite history and thought.

Schlabach is professor emeritus of history at Goshen College, where he taught from 1965-2004; former acting director of the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College; and author and editor of numerous publications. Some of Schlabach’s works include Peace, Faith, Nation: Mennonites and Amish in Nineteenth-Century America (Herald Press, 1989) and Proclaim Peace: Christian Pacifism from Unexpected Quarters (co-edited with Richard T. Hughes, University of Illinois Press, 1997).

In his most recent book, War, Peace, and Social Conscience: Guy F. Hershberger and Mennonite Ethics (Herald Press, 2009), Schlabach analyzes Hershberger’s thought and his impact on Mennonites. Hershberger was the author of War, Peace and Nonresistance (Herald Press, 1944) and a prominent Mennonite leader and ethicist – throughout the 20th century but particularly in the decades after World War II, as the Mennonite church faced ethical issues that included a push for greater focus on pacifism.

The Oct. 15 Friends of the MLA lecture will begin at 7 p.m. in the Bethel College Administration Building chapel and is free and open to the public.

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

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2010-11 analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States and is in the first tier in its category in the U.S. News & World Report annual ranking of “America’s Top Colleges” for 2011. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

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