In his new book, Seditions, Confusion, and Tumult: Why Reformation Europe Thoguht Anabaptism would Destroy Society, recent TMTC alumnus Layton Friesen (PhD '17) explores the bitter opossition to Anabaptism in the 16th century.
Layton says that "the research and writing of this book was my attempt to answer a question: how was it that Anabaptists, heralded by modern Mennonites as beautiful, humble, biblical, peaceful, generous Christians, were almost universally hated and despised by those responsible for public order in Reformation Europe? Why did these people pose such an existential threat to the very fabric of civilisation? The answers I began to see took me beyond the Bender school’s confessional history of the Anabaptists, but also beyond the more recent social history neglect of theology as an important drive in people’s lives. I think this has something significant to show us about what happens when our faith convictions do really marinate into the flesh of our daily life in society."
In his Foreword, Professor John D. Roth suggests that "by attempting to enter into the worldview of those that persecuted Anabaptists—while also acknowledging the frailties, weaknesses, and inconsistencies of one's own tradition—Friesen offers a poignant example of a nonviolent approach to scholarship, thereby bearing witness to the traditon that has shaped him."