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History and Ideology

American Mennonite Identity Definition through History


Sawatsky, Rodney James


Pandora Press



$24.50  ($CDN)


•  ISBN: 1894710533
•  Language: English
•  216 Pages
•  Publication Date: 2005


"[Sawatzky] aims to show how different members of the extended Mennonite family used the writing of history to figure out their place in the American society into which they had migrated. (The author) chronicles the progress of the collective identity crisis as played out in denominational publications...(with) some (editors) functioning as virtual bishops. H.S. Bender (as an editor) emerged as a central definer of Mennonite identity. ... "War" continued as a key problem in Mennonites' relationship with their American neighbours.... Several varieties of pacifism emerged, along with a gap between "Old" Mennonites and the General Conference.... In conclusion, Sawatzky draws together threads that run throughout the book, clarifying that the divergent views of history were not ... invented tradition...and that there is much room for redefinition in current Mennonite settings." ----Canadian Mennonite reviewed by Mark Steinacher The book provides an insightful analysis of the process of Mennonite self-identity. "[Sawatsky]traces the ways Mennonites in America defined themselves through the writing of history, from the colonial era until the mid-twentieth century." -James Juhnke