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‘Mennonite Life’ third issue invites, pays tribute to Cornelius Krahn

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – The third issue of Mennonite Life in an annual online format, now live, starts out by remembering the legacy of founding editor Cornelius Krahn.

August 2, 2012, marks the 110th anniversary of his birth in the village of Rosenthal, Chortitza colony, Ukraine. The three daughters of Cornelius and Hilda Krahn – Marianne Krahn Miller of Kansas, Karla Krahn Drake of Massachusetts and Cornelia Krahn of Wisconsin – have chosen this year to establish a Mennonite Life endowment in memory of their parents.

Writing in this issue, Marianne says, “Cornelius always had a passion for church history, and the birth [in 1946] and success of Mennonite Life was one of his greatest accomplishments.

“My father would be amazed that 66 years later, the journal is informing and inspiring Mennonites, Anabaptists and others, although the format has changed in a way he could not have imagined and the articles reflect a church and culture that has both diminished and grown.”

The sisters hope the endowment will “further Cornelius’ legacy and promote the longevity of Mennonite Life.” They also hope others will join in doing so by contacting Fred Goering, director of development at Bethel College (call 316-284-5226 or use the link in the current issue of Mennonite Life), to contribute to the Cornelius and Hilda Krahn Mennonite Life Endowment Fund.

The Summer 2012 (Vol. 66) issue of Mennonite Life can be accessed the Mennonite Life website.

The opening section of the issue consists of the first four presentations, two by Lois Barrett, Wichita, who directs the Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary-Great Plains program in North Newton, and two by Mark Jantzen, Bethel College professor of history, in a summer 2011 lecture series marking the 200th anniversary of the founding (in Russia) of Grace Hill Mennonite Church in rural Newton.

These four presentations “demonstrate a broader sweep of Mennonite history from the 16th to the 19th centuries, made usable for thinking about and commemorating Christian and Mennonite identity at the congregational level,” Jantzen says.

Kirsten Beachy, who teaches writing at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Va., offers a satirical piece poking fun at the mild explosion in recent years of Mennonite women’s writing and blogging on issues related to cooking and food.

Five articles under the heading “Contemporary Mennonite Issues” deal with Christian-Muslim relations; a study and critique of the “Gather ’Round” Sunday school curriculum; Mennonite involvement in the Holocaust in Europe; an examination of the struggles surrounding the creation of the Mennonite Church-Church of the Brethren Hymnal: A Worship Book more than 20 years ago; and a consideration of Gordon Kaufman’s Mennonite influences and influence on Mennonites approaching the one-year anniversary of his death.

Three of the articles in this section are by recent Bethel College graduates, two from 2012 and one from 2011.

The fourth section consists of the first-, second- and third-place finishers from the high school category of the 2010-11 John Horsch Mennonite History Essay Contest.

A review by Troy Osborne from Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario, of Mark Jantzen’s 2010 book Mennonite German Soldiers, and the 2011 “Mennonite Bibliography,” compiled by Barbara Thiesen, round out the 2012 issue of Mennonite Life.

This issue also marks the final one for Mark Jantzen as lead editor. Rachel Epp Buller, Bethel College assistant professor of art and a member of the Mennonite Life editorial team, will take over the position starting with the 2013 issue.

Bethel College began publishing Mennonite Life in 1946. The journal went to online-only in 2000 and to one issue a year in 2010. Mennonite Life is devoted to exploring and developing Mennonite experience, with an intended audience of scholars and academics as well as a wider literate readership interested in Mennonite matters.

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2011-12 Forbes.com analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States and is the highest-ranked Kansas college in the Washington Monthly annual college guide for 2011-12. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see www.bethelks.edu.

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