A well-known writer and speaker on Mennonites and Anabaptists will look at these topics in a global perspective in the 59th annual Menno Simons Lectures at Bethel College Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.


A well-known writer and speaker on Mennonites and Anabaptists will look at these topics in a global perspective in the 59th annual Menno Simons Lectures at Bethel College Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.

John D. Roth, professor of history at Goshen (Ind.) College, is this year’s lecturer. He was born and raised in Holmes County, Ohio, and completed undergraduate studies in history at Goshen College and graduate work at the University of Chicago, where he earned a Ph.D. in early modern European history and won the Marc Perry Galler Prize for the best dissertation in the Social Science Division, 1989-90.

Roth has taught in the history department at Goshen College since 1988. He also serves as editor of Mennonite Quarterly Review and director of the Mennonite Historical Library at Goshen College.

He is author or editor of numerous articles and books, among them Beliefs: Mennonite Faith and Practice (Herald Press, 2005), Stories: How Mennonites Came to Be (Herald Press, 2006), Practices: Mennonite Worship and Witness (Herald Press, 2008), A Companion to Anabaptism and Spiritualism, 1521-1700 (Brill, 2007; co-edited with 2008 Menno Simons lecturer James Stayer) and Teaching that Transforms: Why Anabaptist-Mennonite Education Matters (Herald Press, forthcoming).

In addition to various ecumenical involvements, Roth is focusing on several research projects relating to the global Anabaptist fellowship (including the “Global Anabaptist Wiki” at www.anabaptistwiki.org). He and his wife, Ruth, are the parents of four grown daughters and are active members at Berkey Avenue Mennonite Fellowship in Goshen.

The overall title for Roth’s Menno Simons Lectures is “The Future of Anabaptism as a Global Movement.” At 7:30 p.m. Oct. 31, he will present “What Hath Zurich to do with Addis Ababa?: Anabaptism as a Global Movement”; 11 a.m. Nov. 1 (Bethel College convocation), “The Christian Faith in Global Perspective”; 7:30p.m. Nov. 1, “Taproot or Rhizome?: Retelling the Anabaptist Story as if the Global Church Mattered”; and 7:30 p.m. Nov. 2, “The Coming Shape of Anabaptism: Envisioning the Global Mennonite Church of the Future.”

All lectures are in Krehbiel Auditorium of the Fine Arts Center and are free and open to the public. Opportunity for questions and discussion will follow the presentation of each lecture. For more information, call 284-5354 or e-mail mjantzen@bethelks.edu.

The John P. and Carolina Schrag Kaufman family established the Menno Simons Lectureship Endowment to promote research and public lectures by recognized scholars relating to Anabaptist-Mennonite history, thought, life and culture, past and present. Since 1997, the family of William E. and Meta Goering Juhnke also has contributed substantially to the endowment. Both families have their roots in the Moundridge area.