About the Benjamin Eby Lecture
The Benjamin Eby Lecture is an annual lecture that presents the research of a faculty member at Conrad Grebel University College. It is named after Benjamin Eby (1785-1853), an early educator and Mennonite church leader in Waterloo County.
Good intentions. Good ends. Failure. People usually assume peacebuilding is morally good because well-intentioned people are pursuing good ends. Likewise, reconciliation. But, what happens when the moral values that drive peacebuilding become a problem?
Reina Neufeldt explores how moral and ethical claims that are intrinsic to peacebuilding can contribute to failure and can be part of transformational engagement in her lecture titled, "When Good Intentions are not Enough: Confronting Ethical Challenges in Peacebuilding and Reconciliation." Join us on October 26th at 7:30 in the Chapel.
Reina Neufeldt’s research interests include the ethics of peacebuilding, civil society peacebuilding, the relationship between peacebuilding and development, ethno-national conflict, reflective practice, monitoring and evaluation. She has worked with a number of nongovernmental organizations on peacebuilding, including Catholic Relief Services and Mennonite Central Committee. Dr. Neufeldt is currently an advisory board member for the Peacebuilding Evaluation Consortium (PEC) and serves on Project Ploughshares’ governing committee. A professor in the Peace and Conflict Studies program at Conrad Grebel University College, University of Waterloo, she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on research, ethics, development and peacebuilding, as well as music, peace and conflict, and the quest for peace in literature and film.
Jeremy Bergen (Fall 2016)
Public Lecture: "Christians Killing Christians: Martyrdom and the Disunity of the Church"
Date: November 3rd, 2016
Overview: In the 1880s, dozens of Anglican and Roman Catholic members of the royal court of Buganda (now Uganda) were executed by their king. Now honoured as the Uganda Martyrs, their memory has been invoked as one that advances Christian unity. The king regarded them not as Anglicans or Catholics but simply as Christians. Since Christian martyrdom may be understood as conforming to Jesus in a way that transcends denominational divisions between Christians, the honouring of particular martyrs has been proposed by Pope John Paul II and others as a potential practice of Christian unity. Mennonites have even offered the legacy of Anabaptist martyr Dirk Willems as a sign of reconciliation with Catholics. Yet, the fact that many individuals who are regarded as Christian martyrs, such as the Anabaptist martyrs, were killed by other Christians, points to disunity. Moreover, some of the complex ways that martyr memories function may promote further enmity, division, or violence.
Troy Osborne (Winter 2016)
Public Lecture: "The Bottle, the Dagger, and The Ring: Church Discipline and Dutch Mennonite Identity in the Seventeenth Century"
Date: March 31st, 2016
Overview: This lecture looks at 150 years of church discipline by the Mennonites in Amsterdam for what it can tell us about Mennonites’ changing place in the society of the Dutch Republic during the young country’s “Golden Age.” As the Dutch Mennonites disciplined their members, they created a public reputation as obedient subjects that they then used on behalf of repressed Anabaptists in other parts of Europe. Professor Osborne is a historian whose research and teaching interests center generally on Mennonite history and the Reformation and particularly on the development of the Dutch Anabaptist tradition.
W. Derek Suderman (2014)
Public Lecture: "Seeking Peace as the End of Lament"
Date: October 24, 2014
Overview: The Christian tradition has long been uncomfortable with the articulation of lament. For some, Jesus’ call to love enemies is even seen as a rejection of this genre, given the prominence of violent wishes or imprecations against enemies found within it. Over time praise and confession have come to dominate the liturgical experience of many worshipping communities, while lament has largely disappeared.
In the end, lament psalms confront Christian communities with contemporary brokenness and pain, challenging them to attend to such cries as calls to seek shalom. Are we listening?
Susan Schultz Huxman (Fall 2013)
Public Lecture: "Speaking Truth to Power: Profiles in Rhetorical Courage for Church and Society"
Date: October 13, 2013
- 1981 - Walter Klaassen - “University: The Temple of Intellect Past and Present”
- 1982 - Rodney Sawatsky - Commitment and Critique: A Dialectical Imperative”
- 1983 - Calvin Redekop - “Promise of Work”
- 1984 - Leonard Enns - “Music: Intellect and Emotion”
- 1985 - Conrad Brunk - “Professionalism and Responsibility in the Technological Society”
- 1986 - John Miller - “Envisioning the World’s Future: Neglected Prophetic Insights”
- 1987 - Wilbur Maust - “Benjamin Britten’s Music of Conscience and Compassion”
- 1988 - John Rempel - “ Christian Worship: Surely the Lord is in this Place”
- 1989 - Helen Martens - “Mendelssohn’s Faith and Works: The Spiritual Odyssey of a Composer”
- 1990 - Werner Packull - “Between Paradigms: Anabaptist Studies at the Crossroads”
- 1991 - A. James Reimer - “Christian Theology and the University: Methodological Issues Reconsidered”
- 1992 - Arnold Snyder - “An Anabaptist Vision for Peace: Spirituality and Peace in Pilgrim Marpeck”
- 1993 - Thomas Yoder Neufeld - “‘Bound by Peace’ (Ephesians 4:3): The Reconciliation of Divergent Traditions in Ephesians”
- 1994 - Carol Ann Weaver - “Kenyan Women in Music”
- 1995 - Ron Mathies - “Service as (Trans)formation: The Mennonite Central Committee as Educational Institution”
- 2001 - Kenneth Hull - “Text, Music and Meaning in Congregational Song”
- 2003 - John Toews - “Toward a Biblical Theology of Leadership Affirmation: Rethinking Ordination”
- 2005 - Hildi Froese Tiessen "A Mennonite Novelist's Journey (from) Home: Ephraim Weber's encounters with S.F. Coffman and L.M. Montgomery"
- 2006 - Lowell Ewert "Law as a Sword, Law as a Shield"
- 2007 - A. James Reimer -"Christian Theology Today: What is at Stake?"
- 2008 - Marlene Epp "Midwife Healers: The Women who made things right"
- 2009 - Laura Gray "The Idea of North: Sibelius, Gould and Symbolic Landscapes"
- 2010 - Nathan Funk - "Peace Starts Now: Religious Contributions to Sustainable Peacemaking"
- 2011 - James Pankratz - “Gandhi and Mennonites in India”
- 2012 - Leonard Enns - "How can I keep from singing?"
For more information on the lecture, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or
call at 519-885-0220 x24264.
For more speakers and recordings of their lectures, please see a list of past Benjamin Eby Lecturers.