AUGUST 6-8, 1998

Visit the Anabaptists and Postmodernity conference website!

Bluffton College invites proposals for 30-minute presentations that inquire into the relationships among Anabaptists (of whatever sort and/or time period) and postmodernity (however construed).

To be sure, "Anabaptists" and "postmodernity" are two highly contested terms.  In the spirit of encouraging productive research, dialogue, and debate about the relationships that obtain between them, we invite proposals for presentations that seek to answer (or contest) questions such as the following: What is postmodernity?  Is it a cultural logic, a theoretical approach, an aesthetic, or something else?  Does it signify a moment after, within, against, and/or other than modernity?  If it is a cultural condition within which Anabaptists live, what are its particular characteristics (economically, technologically, theologically, artistically, etc.)?  Who are we as Anabaptists especially in light of the polygenesis thesis and its attendant dissemination of the origin of Anabaptism?  What are the problems and/or possibilities of postmodernity for Anabaptists?  How should Anabaptists live, theorize, create, and worship within postmodernity?  Where/what is Anabaptist community in postmodernity?  Is it in rural America, urban centers, cyberspace?  What is/should be Anabaptistsí witness to postmodernity and, in particular, to what many are calling post-Christendom?  Where might Anabaptists find resources for such a witness whether in their own origin(s),  "theologies," literature, traditions, etc. or those of others?  Should Anabaptists engage pre-modern sensibilities and modes of inquiry as resources for a critical distance from both modernity and postmodernity?

These questions are not intended to be mutually exclusive.  Some of them may warrant individual presentations whereas others may require response throughout the conference.  Also, this list is not meant to be exhaustive or to imply certain answers.  Finally, a primary goal of this conference is to encourage conversation across disciplines, generations, and perspectives on these and related questions.  Hence, proposals that show promise of addressing both aspects of the theme in a manner that invites dialogue among diverse participants and perspectives may receive the most favorable consideration.

Send proposals for presentations, including title and abstract, postmarked by December 1, 1997 to Susan Biesecker-Mast, Bluffton College, 280 West College Ave., Bluffton, Ohio 45817.  Questions or requests for further information may also be sent to this address.  In addition, Susan can be reached at (419) 358-3082 or at  Other members of the conference planning committee include J. Denny Weaver, Gerald Biesecker-Mast, and Gerald Schlabach.