Classification scheme: 

Title: Albert J. Meyer collection of Puidoux Conference documents

Dates of creation: 1954-1957, 1960-1961, 1999, 2002

Physical description: 5 cm of textual records

Biographical sketch: Following a year of doctoral study in Basel, Switzerland in 1953, Albert J. Meyer (1929- ) was asked to be the director of Mennonite Central Committee in France, the Mennonite liaison with the World Council of Churches, and the Mennonite representative on the Continuation Committee of the Historic Peace Churches in Europe. In 1958, he returned to his alma mater, Goshen College, where he taught physics. He was also executive secretary of the Mennonite Board of Education (Mennonite Church) for 28 years.

During his time in Europe, the Continuation Committee, with the encouragement of the World Council of Churches, planned a conference for August 15-19, 1955 in Pruidoux, Switzerland, entitled "The Lordship of Christ over Chuch and State." Meyer was the conference secretary. From 1955-1962, four conferences on this theme were held in different locations. These theological conversations on the Christian's relationship to peace and war are often referred to together as the "Puidoux Conferences." In On Earth Peace, Meyer reflected, "The Puidoux theological conferences of the fifities and sixities were the first extended theological conversations in over four hundred years between the Historic Peace Churches, who date from the Anabaptists of the early days of the Reformation, and the official churches [Lutheran and Reformed] of Central Europe."

Custodial history: Received from Albert Meyer by John D. Rempel; donated to the Archives by John D. Rempel in 2019

Scope and content: In 1999, Meyer created a collection of documents on the beginning of the Puidoux conferences. The file consists of Meyer's reminiscences, along with copies of committee reports, minutes, news clippings, statements and conference working papers. Emphasis is on the first two conferences (Puidoux (1955) and Iserlohn (1957)), along with several interim gatherings. Meyer notes that originals of the documents in this collection are located in his personal papers, the Mennonite Central Committee archives, and the Mennonite Church USA Archives.

Notes: See also: Durnbaugh, Donald F. ed., On Earth Peace: Discussions on War/Peace Issues between Friends, Mennonites, Brethren, and European Churches," Elgin, Ill.: The Brethren Press, 1978.
Original archival description created 2019 by Laureen Harder-Gissing.


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