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From Nonresistance to Justice

The Transformation of Mennonite Church Peace Rhetoric, 1908-2008
From Nonresistance to Justice

By author: Ervin R. Stutzman
Product Code: 9508
ISBN: 9780836195088
Binding Information: Hardback
Size: 9.25 x 6.00 inches

Publication Date: 3/29/2011

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The more things change, the more they stay the same. From Nonresistance to Justice explores how this is true when it comes to teaching about peace for the former Mennonite Church, now part of Mennonite Church USA. Has the church changed in regard to its beliefs and practices about peace over the past 100 years? Yes. Has it remained the same? Yes. Reading this book will show that both are true.

Through the book, Ervin Stutzman shows how the church moved from an emphasis on nonresistance and nonconformity to engage in advocacy for peace and justice. At the same time, he presses for a greater emphasis on the way that God’s activity must guide our work in the world, arguing for a stronger link between God’s grace, justice, and peace.

Volume 46 in the Studies in Anabaptist and Mennonite History Series.

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The fine research, careful analysis and personal reflections at the conclusion offer the reader just a tremendous resource—understanding of the past but, perhaps more importantly, how past and present shape future possibilities. This is such a hopeful book with the emphasis on grace—a timely word for us now.
—Lee Snyder, former president, Bluffton University

"At a time when religious life is changing rapidly, we do well to step back and look at the adaptations the church has made in response to the pressures of modernism in the last century. A study of history can serve as a thoughtful guide to a faithful future."
—Ervin Stutzman

“Ervin Stutzman is especially well equipped to tell this story, both because of his academic background and because of his leadership in the Mennonite church. He helps us to understand how the church responded to changing social and political settings in North America with imaginative restatements of its commitment to nonviolence and peace, and helps us see how church leaders re-envisioned the form of the church’s peace witness.”
—Gerald Mast, Series Editor, Studies in Anabaptist and Mennonite History

From Nonresistance to Justice goes beyond previous studies of Mennonite peace theology by dealing with issues that have arisen since other works were written, by focusing on ‘rhetoric’ it suggests that language matters in shaping Mennonite life, it official statements that trace shifts in church bodies and views from church periodicals, attending to a wide range of voices--while not ignoring the writings of scholars; and it makes a powerful and much needed case for incorporating an emphasis on grace as central to an authentic peace theology. It’s a book well worth reading, and pondering.”
—Ted Koontz, Professor of Ethics and Peace Studies, Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary

“Ervin Stutzman is interested in rhetoric both as a communication process and as a churchly process of discernment. In this fine study he examines the rhetoric of a century of peace writing; his close reading deals with dozens of official church documents as well as the massive volume of published writing. He adds to the church’s self-understanding and highlights sensitive communication as essential to being the body of Christ.”
—John A. Lapp, former Executive Director of Mennonite Central Committee

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