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European Mennonites and the Challenge of Modernity over Five Centuries: Contributors, Detractors, and Adapters


Mark Jantzen, Mary Sprunger, John Thiesen
SKU: 9781889239095 Categories: , Product ID: 2966


Were Anabaptists only relevant to European history for fewer than twenty years almost five centuries ago? The history of Anabaptism early in the sixteenth century has made its way out of the narrow confines of denominational history and onto the main stage of the European past, at least as reflected in history textbooks and in broader discussions of the Reformation. By the 1540s, however, it seems that Anabaptists and Mennonites no longer had a role to play in European history. This volume challenges that assumption. In fact, Anabaptists and, more narrowly, their successors the Mennonites, as alternative and cohesive communities that were Christian, pacifist, and non-state, influenced historical developments. Their unique status forced the societies and states where they lived to grapple with recurrent exceptions both to the laws and to overly simple assumptions about the proper behaviors of modern subjects and citizens. Although this community was often marginalized, it nonetheless provided models or stimuli for important developments in European religious, political, social, and economic policies and practices. This book grows out of an international conference “Marginal or Mainstream: Anabaptists, Mennonites, and Modernity in European Society” held at Bethel College, North Newton, Kansas, in June 2010. Contributors include Thomas A. Brady, Jr., Brian C. Brewer, Michael Driedger, Johannes Dyck, Ernst Hamm, Dilaram M. Inoyatova, Mark Jantzen, Rainer Kobe, Marion Kobelt-Groch, Frank Konersmann, Jeremy Koop, Karl Koop, Yme B. Kuiper, Troy Osborne, Walter Ratliff, James P. Regier, Mary S. Sprunger, John D. Thiesen, and Nataliya Venger.