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Jeremy M. Bergen

Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Theology, Director of Theological Studies

Jeremy BergenContact:
(519) 885-0220 ext. 24234
Office:  CGUC 2122

Interim Director, Toronto Mennonite Theological Centre
Vice-President, Canadian Theological Society
Editor, The Conrad Grebel Review

BTh, Canadian Mennonite Bible College, 1996
BA, University of Winnipeg, 1997
MA, University of St. Michael’s College, 2002
PhD, University of St. Michael’s College, 2008

Like many undergraduate students, Jeremy initially started his studies in one major and then switched a year in when he realized he enjoyed something else more. Jeremy pursued his interest in Theological Studies through his undergraduate and graduate degrees. Through the years his passion and commitment to helping students explore the Christian faith have made Jeremy a great theologian and teacher.

Jeremy first attended university pursuing an International Relations major with the hopes of then going to law school. However, during his early classes he realized (with the help of some good and some bad professors) that his real interest was in theology. Jeremy’s focus explores what Christian faith is versus what it ought to be, how the Church apologizes for past wrongs, where peace and violence lie within the faith, martyrdom, and the implications of all these.

In addition to teaching, Jeremy has been the Director of the Theology program here at Conrad Grebel University College since 2008. He oversees all master students, recruitment, and planning courses. He also works with the Toronto Mennonite Theological Center and their doctoral program, where he oversees the program, budgeting, and creation of the vision for the school and program.

While he’s not busy helping students, planning programs and courses, or writing papers, Jeremy enjoys running, cooking, and spending time with his children.

 Passions, Opportunities, and Challenges.

“I’m passionate about what I study because I know that it matters, and though most people don’t like how open ended the questions can be, I think it’s freeing. Students bring up many questions, and with such a wide diversity of students, it allows us to have deep and meaningful conversations.”

“This field is relevant in today’s society because the Christian community is made up of billions of people who can serve, challenge, and engage with each other and others. The difficulty is trying to avoid the tendency within the field to only look inward and not think about how we communicate with the world around us. It is also a field that is dominated by fairly privileged people, which is part of a more complex problem, but is nonetheless something we need to be aware of and address.”

The tough questions.

“Often the simplest questions that we take for granted, or overlook, are the most profound, and make us stop and think about the core of what we believe. Is God active in the world? Is Jesus God? Is it all up to us? Is Christianity peaceful or violent? Many people bring up the story of when Jesus entered a temple being used as a marketplace and ask if his actions were violent, and what does that mean to us? The context of these stories is always important though.”

Christianity is diverse, there are many ways to think about all subjects, but it doesn’t mean anything goes. We need to understand how Christianity works, why there is diversity, and how we are able to engage with it on a critical and constructive level.

In another life.

If I had to be a professor in another subject it would be… Political Theory and Law.

If I had to be an animal it would be… A Galapagos turtle.  They are plentiful and thriving in the Galapagos Islands, they live long lives, move slowly, are social (but not overly so), resilient, and always at home. They also hold a special place in the science and social science world as Charles Darwin’s visit to the islands made a significant impact on his Theory of Natural Selection.

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Research Areas:  

Contemporary Christian theology, Anabaptist theology, ecclesiology, ecumenism, Holy Spirit, church apologies, martyrdom

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Courses Taught:

RS 152 – Introduction to Christian Theology
RS 258 - God
RS 351 – Contemporary Christian Thought
RS 353/PACS 330 – War and Peace in Christian Theology

TS 600 – Thinking Theologically
TS 635 - Christian Ethics
TS 690 – Seminar in Theological Studies (Topic: Holy Spirit)
TS 718 – Systematic Theology

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Selected Publications:

  • “Die reuige Kirche in der Geschichte. Theologische Reflexionen [The Penitential Church in History: Theological Reflections],”  Ökumenische Rundschau 63, no. 2 (2014): 166-181.

  • “The Holy Spirit and Lived Communion from the Perspective of International Bilateral Dialogues,” Journal of Ecumenical Studies 49 (2014): 193-217.

  • “Conscience, Dissent, and Church: Theological Anthropology in Mennonite Perspective,” in On Being Human: Essays from the Fifth Shi’i Muslim Mennonite Christian Dialogue, ed. Harry J. Huebner and Hajj Muhammad Legenhausen, 244-263. Winnipeg: CMU Press, 2013.

  • “Atonement, Violence, Martyrdom:  Engaging Tom Yoder Neufeld’s Killing Enmity,” The Ecumenist: A Journal of Theology, Culture, and Society 50, no. 1 (Winter 2013): 14-18.

  • “The Holy Spirit in the World,” Vision: A Journal for Church and Theology 13, no. 1 (Spring 2012): 84-92.

  • “Lutheran Repentance at Stuttgart and Mennonite Ecclesial Identity,” Mennonite Quarterly Review 86 (2012): 315-338.
  • Ecclesial Repentance: The Churches Confront Their Sinful Pasts. London: T&T Clark, 2011.
  • “Baptism of Blood: Peace, Justice, and Christian Martyrdom,” in Peace and Justice: Essays from the Fourth Shi’i Muslim Mennonite Christian Dialogue, ed. Harry J. Huebner and Hajj Muhammad Legenhausen, 176-194. Winnipeg: CMU Press, 2011.
  • Edited, with Anthony G. Siegrist, Power and Practices: Engaging the Work of John Howard Yoder. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 2009.
  •  “The Publicity of the Holy Spirit,” in Creed and Conscience: Essays in Honour of A. James Reimer, ed. Jeremy M. Bergen, Paul G. Doerksen, and Karl Koop, 219-236. Kitchener, ON: Pandora Press, 2007.
  • “Problem or Promise? Confessional Martyrs and Mennonite–Roman Catholic Relations,” Journal of Ecumenical Studies 41 (2004): 367-388.
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Selected Activities: 

Conference Presentations

  • “Settlement and Apology,” panel on Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Canadian Theological Society annual meetings, Brock University, St. Catharines, ON, 27 May 2014.

  • “The Anabaptist Martyrs Mirror in the Past and For Today,” invited speaker, 47th International Ecumenical Seminar, Institute for Ecumenical Research, Strasbourg, France, 8 July 2013.

  • “Apologizing for Canada’s Indian Residential Schools: A Theological Account of a Political Apology for an Historical Wrong,” Ecclesiological Investigations Network conference on “Religion, Authority, and the State,” Belgrade, Serbia, 20 June 2013.

  • “The Holy Spirit in the Anabaptist Story,” Mennonite Church Manitoba Leadership Seminar, keynote presentation, three sessions, Winnipeg, 26 October, 2012.

  • “Reframing Anabaptism,” Mennonite Church Canada Ministers Conference. Waterloo, 4 July 2011. 
  • “Between Creed and Conscience: Dissent, Authority and the Dynamics of Conscience,” Shi’i Muslim Mennonite Christian Dialogue Conference on Theological Anthropology. Canadian Mennonite University, Winnipeg, 4 June 2011.
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Fellowships and Awards:

  • Doctoral Fellowship, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, 2005-2006.
  • Essays in Ecumenism Award, North American Academy of Ecumenists, 2005.

Web Page:

Discover what Dr. Bergen finds exciting about teaching at Grebel below:

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