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could both officially denounce Nazism and also translate Nazi racial theories into a socially-acceptable and theologically-sanctioned discourse of "Mennonite ethnicity." Similarly, today, an open discussion of "ethnic Mennonitism" could tell us about much more than some members' culture and history; it could shed valuable light on issues of equality, access to resources, and racial justice across and beyond the global Anabaptist church.
It is well to ask, however, whether the groups themselves define their Mennonitism in this way.
There was "wonderful care/nurturing of children, a sense of family, seriousness of life (dry humour) and a strong sense of individual cultural narrowness (fear), and a touch of the self-righteousness of ethnic identity, rigidity/infl exibility in encountering the 'world'." He was not baptized and does not consider himself a Mennonite Believer, yet feels "thoroughly imbued (psychologically, spiritually, culturally) with some very specific "Mennonitism" of the 1940s and 1950s.
Suggesting that the history of Mennonitism is also the history of peoplehood is not an exercise in triumphalism or ethnocentrism.
Serendipity or providence took me, a German Lutheran, to the center of American Mennonitism. Initially I was not at all altogether happy with a prospect of attending an institution located in the middle of nowhere--Mike Royko once wrote that every place in Indiana is "somewhere in Indiana"(5)--and, moreover, representative of what in Germany was condescendingly called `sectarian' Christianity, but the prospect of spending one year in America, at a time when German tourists had not as yet discovered Florida, was irresistible.
Carrie's definition is the one the novel ultimately affirms, and it places the essence of Mennonitism in actions.
For those who in the mid- to late-twentieth century admired Yoder for carrying notions of Christian nonviolence and discipleship to the larger world, the theologian embodied Mennonitism. In more recent years, many individuals and a number of organizations--including Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary and Mennonite Church USA--have attempted to influence the representation of his abuses in the press and through electronic media.
Stauffer--to cite further examples--are noted for introducing dispensationalism, a "special flavor" of piety, and "unique techniques of biblical interpretation" into Old Mennonitism. (19) And, of course, Yoder targeted Harold Bender, his mentor and a dominant midcentury church leader--for similar sorts of Mennonite syncretization accomplished through administrative and institutional efforts.
Radikaler Pazifismus is Goertz's mature judgment of Schleitheimian Anabaptism, and, by extension, most forms of historical Mennonitism, and by further extension, many forms of the Free Church.
The three congregations featured in this article belonged to the more liberal wing of Mennonitism, the General Conference Mennonite Church.
In his essay, which became known as "The Cooking of the Anabaptist Goose," Yoder meditated on the "curious paradox" by which American Mennonites were adjusting completely to American culture through the programs of "modernization" promoted by Bender and others in the very name of Anabaptism.(27) Yoder noted that "even mission boards" were "lending money at interest, a practice which would have sent [early Anabaptist leaders] Blaurock or Riedemann through the roof."(28) Yoder seemed most concerned about Mennonite colleges, which, as "the cultural peak of American Mennonitism," seemed designed to preserve Mennonite identity in the wake of receding cultural differences with the outside world.
Of course, Mennonitism, like all religious communities, is itself a culture.
Facing graduation and the draft, he considers three alternatives: returning home to work for his family with a farming deferment; embracing the overtly pious, evangelical, self-righteous Mennonitism of Marvin Kauffman and entering 1-W alternate service; or following the urging of Arthur Nyce, his liberal Franconia roommate, and choosing Pax service in Europe.
Bender" ignored or declared out of bounds some of the sixteenth-century phenomena which were less sober and less biblical than Horsch's and Bender's own vision for North American Mennonitism. Not all of the first "anabaptists" were nonviolent, not all were soberly Biblicist; but the ones we agreed with made the best fathers.
Mennonitism represented an appealing counterculture for some African-Americans in the late Jim Crow era, although the doctrine of nonconformity often limited the reach of Mennonite social witness.
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