The former have been more prone to describe a polygenetic origin of Anabaptism
, whereas the latter argue for a monogenetic and theologically uniform tradition.
Instead, local factors shaped how Anabaptism
was punished and penalties were often legitimized by sources other than the imperial mandate.
In "Education with the Grain of the Universe", eighteen erudite and insightful contributors shape philosophies of Mennonite higher educational institutions as they explore intersections of educational theories and practices with Anabaptism
, Mennonite thought, and peacemaking.
Among specific topics are devotional strategies in everyday life: laity's interaction with saints in the north during the 14th and 15th centuries, the appeal and survival of Anabaptism
in early modern Germany, urban funeral practices in the Baltic Sea region, religiosity and readiness for the Reformation among late medieval burghers in Stockholm around 1420-1570, and resistance to the Reformation in 16th-century Finland.
As the Roman Inquisition gained in power and became more aggressive in attacking unorthodox thinking throughout Italy, many followers of Valdesian principles emigrated to Switzerland or beyond, where their religious views often evolved in the direction of Anabaptism
. In Italy, however, the Council of Trent's final rejection of the doctrine of justification by faith abolished any possibility of the middle ground that Valdes had sought between Protestantism and traditional Catholicism, and the movement dwindled into non-existence.
For author John Sharp, Orie Miller's management of Mennonite institutions was as profound an act of service as Harold Bender's historical recovery of Anabaptism
or John Howard Yoder's reflections on pacifism.
The book is divided into two parts: The Early Church through the Magisterial Reformation; and Sixteenth-Century Anabaptism
to the Twenty-first Century.
The book's percipient and fascinating analysis of the origins of anabaptism
in Europe, including Mennonite and Amish sects, highlights sectarian differences within the Protestant Reformation and how questions of political power shaped and sustained those differences.
While declining as an identifiable Lutheran group, some of its theological tenets influenced Protestantism and Anabaptism
generally, inspiring the Anglican priest John Wesley to begin the Methodist movement and Alexander Mack to begin the Brethren movement.
However, she notes the influence of 20thcentury Mennonite theologians and historians such as Harold Bender, whose interpretations of Mennonite theology and history focused on issues of yieldedness and non-resistance rather than on the "socially radical nature of early Anabaptism
," (27) which could have led Mennonites to more actively challenge workplace inequities.
Part 2 deals with contemporary theological economics in the different Christian traditions, such as Roman Catholicism, Anglicanism, Eastern Orthodox Christianity, Anabaptism
, Pentecostalism, and the wide range of Reformed theology.
For what emerges from the book is a sense that the Amish are not a monolith, and that despite their roots in sixteenth-century Anabaptism
and a seventeenth-century schism, Amish affiliations--of which there are now forty in America--do not agree about what it means to live in an increasingly modernized world while maintaining a distinct religious identity.