Call for Papers: Wading Deeper: Anabaptist-Mennonite Identities Engage Postmodernity

Monday, January 6, 2014

The theme of this, the sixth Graduate Student Conference initiated by the Toronto Mennonite Theological Centre, reflects the idea of current Anabaptist-Mennonite scholars taking “acculturation” one step further, wading into the messiness of “the world” through the recognition and exploration of multiple voices, contexts, and identities among Anabaptist-Mennonites. Signs of this reality are apparent in academia: perhaps more than ever before, Anabaptist- Mennonite scholars can be found in every discipline in public universities. The reverse is also true: Mennonite colleges and universities are diversifying their programmes beyond the disciplines of Bible, theology, and music alone, revealing that Anabaptist-Mennonite scholars are deeply engaging the “waters” in which we find ourselves. In that spirit, this conference seeks to explore the cutting edge(s) of Anabaptist-Mennonite thought through inviting Mennonite and like-minded graduate students to present their academic research in a collegial interdisciplinary context. Participation of students from a wide variety of disciplines is encouraged.

As part of the conference this year, we are pleased to announce a keynote speaker who has joined the Mennonite academy relatively recently. Peter Dula is Associate Professor of Religion and Culture at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. After receiving a Ph.D. from Duke University in theology and ethics in 2004, he worked as the Mennonite Central Committee Iraq Program Coordinator before coming to EMU in 2006.
 
Possible paper topics include but are not limited to the following:
  • Mennonitism as mono-cultural vs. multi-cultural and multi-ethnic – Germanic heritage(s) and new Ana-baptist visions
  • Unity and multiplicity in Mennonite theology and ecclesiology – one doctrine, many theologies?
  • Interreligious and interdenominational Mennonite dialogues as a form of peacemaking (Mennonite-Muslim dialogue, Mennonite-Catholic dialogue, Lutheran apology to Mennonites, parallels between Mennonite and Jewish experiences)
  • Mennonite political allegiance(s) – identities of dissent and protest, adult baptism as a subversive political/theological act, nonconformity and radicality. Can include Mennonite intersections with feminist, liberationist, and queer theologies/theories.
  • Mennonite peacemaking – from nonresistance to conscientious objection and nonviolent responsibility (development, mediation, reconciliation, etc.)
  • Persecutions, both real and remembered – global Mennonite suffering and martyrdom, past and present

Possible disciplines: theology, biblical studies, ethics, philosophy, religious studies, sociology, diaspora studies, history, literature, musicology, international development studies, peace and conflict transformation studies, etc. The conference will take place May 30 to June 1, 2014 at Canadian Mennonite University, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

*Please send paper proposals of maximum 300 words to mennonite.centre@utoronto.ca by January 15, 2014.

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