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Peace, Progress, and the Professor / Epub ebook

The Mennonite History of C. Henry Smith

By author: Perry Bush
Product Code: 4758
ISBN: 9780836147582
Binding Information: EPUB ebook (iBooks and Nook)

Publication Date: 9/15/2015

EPUB ebook (iBooks and Nook), 9043KB
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What does it mean to be Mennonite in the modern world? And what is the witness of a peace church that is always at risk of splintering? C. Henry Smith—son of an Amish family, erudite historian, urbane bank president, and pioneer of Mennonite scholarship—sought answers to these questions in the middle of the 20th century, and his answers reverberate through the church to this day.

In this engaging narrative biography, historian Perry Bush chronicles Smith’s childhood in an Illinois farming community, his youthful turn toward intellectual inquiry, and his confidence that Anabaptist faith and life offer gifts to the wider world. By recounting the story of one of the foremost Mennonite intellectuals, Bush surveys the storied terrain of 20th-century Mennonite identity in its selective borrowing from wider culture and its tentative embrace of progressive reforms and higher education, and growing conviction that Anabaptism served as a taproot of Western civilization. Bush argues that Smith’s body of historical writing furnished a new generation of Mennonites with both an understanding of their shared past and the tools to navigate an ever-shifting present.

Volume 49 in the Studies in Anabaptist and Mennonite History Series.

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Preface and Acknowledgments
1. Geography of a Prairie Childhood
2. Becoming C.
3. The Democracy of Learning
4. In the Service of a Usable Past
5. How to Write the Mennonite Story
6. The Way of Exile
7. The “Most Liberal Wing”
8. Forays Down a Winding Road
9. Diverging Readings of Anabaptist History
10. Mennonite Intellectual in a Time of Crisis
11. The Final Mennonite History
12. Epilogue
Selected Bibliography
Studies in Anabaptist and Mennonite History Series
The Author

Meticulously researched, carefully contextualized, and beautifully written, Peace, Progress, and the Professor is a riveting read, for in this book Perry Bush captures the unlikely, ironic, and embattled life of C. Henry Smith, the pioneering historian who, in the early twentieth century, helped American Mennonites discover a usable past.—Richard T. Hughes, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Messiah College

Bush takes us on a well-researched biographical tour of one of the Mennonite Church’s most revered historians, professors, public intellectuals, and persuasive defenders of progressivism Bush’s biography of C. Henry Smith is a critical, accessible and nuanced examination of the first ‘dean of Mennonite history in North America.’ In the end, as an astute biographer, Bush makes Smith’s legacy relevant for his day and ours. The advice C. Henry Smith gave his students 80 years ago is as fresh and needed today in the Mennonite Church: Read widely. Don’t believe it all. Make up your own mind. Be willing to cooperate. Keep your head. Thank you Professor Bush for dusting off the Mennonite history books—Smith’s and others—and bringing this robust portrait of C. Henry Smith to life. —Susan Schultz Huxman, president and professor, Conrad Grebel University College

Perry Bush has given us the lively and fascinating story of an educator, banker, and public intellectual who sought to shape a Mennonite identity that was both in harmony with the past and in tune with the times. C. Henry Smith still has something to say to us in the twenty-first century, and Perry Bush has skillfully brought Smith's message into our contemporary conversations.—Steven M. Nolt, professor of history, Goshen College

C. Henry Smith, urbane public intellectual and Mennonite storyteller extraordinaire: Perry Bush’s biographical account situates Smith's legacy as an influential historian in the early, heady days of Mennonite higher education and in the framework of American progressivism, with all its contradictions and limitations. Peace, Progress, and the Professor is an affectionate, compelling portrait of a twentieth-century American Mennonite icon.—Rachel Waltner Goossen, professor of history, Washburn University

C. Henry Smith was for me a boyhood hero. He helped thousands of us to appreciate and embrace our Anabaptist heritage and invited us to see our Mennonite faith as relevant to living in an expanding global world. This absorbing biography draws us into the engaging Mennonite story of the twentieth century.—Robert S. Kreider, historian and retired college administrator

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