Book Series Chronicles Global Growth of Anabaptism

Contributors to the Global Mennonite History Project — writers, editors, translators, and members of the coordinating committee — are (from left) Barbara Nkala of Zimbabwe; Adhi Dharma of Indonesia; Ken Shenk of the U.S., translator of Japanese contributions; I.P. Asheervadam of India; Chiou-Lang (Paulus) Pan of Taiwan; and Jaime Prieto Valla­da­res of Costa Rica. (Photo by Merle Good; courtesy of Mennonite Weekly Review)

Mennonite Weekly Review, a fantastic resource for all things Anabaptist, is carrying a story about the Global Mennonite History Project, a series of five books produced by Anabaptist writers and historians from across the world. According to MWR, the series “offers new ways to think about the Anabaptist movement worldwide.”

Here’s taste of the story:

[John A.] Lapp, who has shepherded the writing of the global histories since the project was launched some 16 years ago, explained the reasoning behind it.

“In 1994, we discovered a tipping point: Africa, Asia and Latin America held 51 percent of the members of Mennonite and Brethren in Christ churches,” he said. “As Jim Juhnke said in the Global History Organizing Conference that year, ‘We need a new global history to explain what this means; ideally, several volumes of stories to stir hope.’

“As the proposal became refined, MWC stipulated that the histories would be written by the new majority members in the South, and that they would be more story than analysis.

“With the release of these four volumes of history, by writers from each respective continent —Africa, Europe, Latin America and Asia, and the pending publication of Volume 5, North America in 2012 — a new Mennonite narrative has been created.”

Read the whole article here.

If you haven’t discovered it yet, the Global Mennonite History book series is a fantastic resource for understanding the global growth of Anabaptism. I especially appreciate Anabaptist Songs in African Hearts, the first volume of the five-volume set, which chronicles the growth of the African Anabaptist churches. There’s a great chapter on the Brethren in Christ churches of Africa, written by Bekithemba Dube, Doris Dube, and Barbara Nkala — all members of the Brethren in Christ churches of Zambia and Zimbabwe.

You can learn more about the book series from the publisher.

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