Anabaptists have long worried that they won’t succeed in passing their faith to the next generation. Why then regale their teenagers with stories that correlate Anabaptist faith with social shame and physical torture? Thieleman van Braght’s seventeenth-century martyrology, Martyrs Mirror (originally called The Bloody Theatre) has been put to many uses over the years, but few have been as common as the spiritual formation and education of young adults. This lecture will explore the longstanding nexus between Martyrs Mirror and Anabaptist youth culture in both traditional and more assimilated Anabaptist communities.
David Weaver-Zercher is distinguished professor of American religious history at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. He has published widely on various aspects of Amish and Mennonite life, with a particular interest in representational issues. His books on Amish life include The Amish in the American Imagination (2001); Writing the Amish: The Worlds of John A. Hostetler (2005); The Amish and the Media (with Diane Zimmerman Umble, 2008); and Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy (with Donald Kraybill and Steven Nolt, 2007). His most recent book, published in 2016, is Martyrs Mirror: A Social History.
140 Westmount Road North
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G6