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2014 Bechtel Lectures

2014-15 Bechtel Lectures in
Anabaptist & Mennonite Studies

Dr. Jeff Gundy

with Jeff Gundy,
Bluffton University

Thursday, November 13
​Friday November 14
7:30pm 
Grebel Chapel


Thursday, November 13

Lecture 1: “Poetry, the Sleeping King, and Creative Doubt.”

This lecture will make a case for doubt (of the right sort) as a useful and positive force, with plentiful illustrations, considerable hedging and making of distinctions, and a few claims that may be considered wild and unsettling. In some ways a supplement and continuation of the work on theopoetics I undertook in my recent book of essays Songs from an Empty Cage, this lecture will carry those explorations into new territory, including legends of sleeping kings, canonical poets like T.S Eliot, fabulist fiction, and Mary Szybist.

Friday, November 14, 7:30 pm
Together with the New Mennonite/s Writing series

Lecture/Reading 2: “Circling Defiance.”

I have lived near Defiance for thirty years, though only rarely do I visit that place where two rivers meet. Once the land held a native village, then a white man’s fort, and today a small city remarkable for little other than its name. This presentation will weave poems from my new book Somewhere Near Defiance into a meditation on Defiance, on the strange, awful, lovely world we inhabit and out place in it. Might find our way toward some measure of integrity, wonder, and use to the others who share this place with us? Even from Defiance, I realized not so long ago, nothing is more than half a world away.

Jeff Gundy's Biography

Jeff Gundy, longtime professor of English at Bluffton University, has published six books of poems, including Somewhere Near Defiance (Anhinga, 2014) and Spoken among the Trees (Akron, 2007), winner of the Society of Midland Authors Poetry Award. His four prose books, all on Mennonite themes, include the new Songs from an Empty Cage: Poetry, Mystery, Anabaptism, and Peace (Cascadia, 2013), and Walker in the Fog: On Mennonite Writing, winner of the 2006 Dale E. Brown Award for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies. Other new work appears in The Sun, Georgia Review, Kenyon Review, Christian Century, and Nimrod. He has twice presented C. Henry Smith Peace Lectures, and been awarded multiple grants from the Ohio Arts Council. A 2008 Fulbright Lecturer at the University of Salzburg, he will spend the spring 2015 semester teaching and writing at LCC International University in Klaipeda, Lithuania.

Bechtel Lectures in Anabaptist-Mennonite Studies

The Bechtel Lectures in Anabaptist-Mennonite Studies were established in 2000 through the generosity of Lester Bechtel. As a devoted churchman with an active interest in Mennonite history, Lester’s dream was to make the academic world of research and study accessible to a broader constituency and to build bridges of understanding between the academy and the church. This lecture series provides a forum through which the core meaning and values of the Anabaptist-Mennonite faith and heritage might be communicated to a diverse audience and be kept relevant and connected to the rapidly changing world of our day.

The Bechtel Lectures provide the opportunity for representatives of a variety of disciplines and professions to explore topics that reflect the breadth and depth of Mennonite history, identity, faith and culture. Conrad Grebel University College is pleased to host this annual event.

Bechtel Lectures 2014

Writing the Amish into North American History, by Dr. Steven Nolt. 

Writing Low German Mennonites into a History of Canada, by Dr. Royden Loewen.

 

Bechtel Lectures 2013

The Four Loves and the Pursuit of Justice, with Chris Marshall

Compassion, Justice and the Work of Restoration, with Chris Marshall


Bechtel Lectures 2012

Dr. John Roth was the 2012 Bechtel Lecturer.

The Challenge of Church Unity in the Anabaptist Tradition

What Hath Zurich to do with Addis Ababa? Ecclesial Identity in the Global Anabaptist Church


2011 Bechtel Lectures

Dr. Roger Epp was the 2011 Bechtel Lecturer; his topic was, "We are all Treaty People."
 

The Settler Problem​

 

The Stories We Tell Ourselves

Location

Conrad Grebel University College

140 Westmount Road North,
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G6
Canada 

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Multimedia Videos

watch past lectures

Watch our special event videos: the Bechtel LecturesMennonite Literature series, the Eby Lecture, and the Sawatsky Lecture.

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