A symposium on North American Mennonite Brethren in the mid-century (1940-1960) sponsored by the Historical Commission of the General Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches will be held in Fresno, California, February 4-6, 1993.
The twenty-year period from 1940 to 1960 was in many ways a transitional period for North American Mennonite Brethren. Mennonite Brethren entered this period speaking German, lived in rural communities, and worked with multiple lay congregational leadership. By 1960, the transition to English was virtually complete in the United States and well underway in Canada; urbanization and clerical professionalism were significantly in place. The intent of this symposium is to probe these and other important features of this twenty-year period of time. The symposium will bring together scholars presenting research-based papers and a participant panel. The participant panel will be composed of individuals who lived through the two decades and who will bring personal experiences to modify and enlarge research-based perspectives.
The topics proposed for research papers include:
- Theological developments (modernism, fundamentalism, evangelicalism, anabaptism)
- Church-state issues (World War II alternative service, noncombatancy)
- Cultural developments (language, immigration, urbanization)
- Ecclesiology (alterations in church structure/governance, professionalization of the clergy)
- Political behavior (voting patterns, political identification)
- Economic developments (movement from predominantly agricultural economy into industrial and commercial sectors)
- Women in the church (development of women’s organizations and the role of women in the church)
Detailed information can be secured from the Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies, 4824 E Butler, Fresno, Calif. 93727. (Tel. 209-453-2225; fax 209-251-1432.)