A new "Martyrs Mirror"

2/15/13

Goshen professor to present C. Henry Smith Peace Lecture

BLUFFTON, Ohio—Dr. John Roth of Goshen College will address "'Bearing Witness' as Peacemaking: A New 'Martyrs Mirror' for the 21st Century?" in the 2013 C. Henry Smith Peace Lecture at Bluffton University. Free and open to the public, his presentation will begin at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26, in Founders Hall.

The lecture will introduce a project aimed at gathering stories of Christian faithfulness in the face of adversity and suffering. Focused primarily on groups in the global Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition, Roth will explore contemporary experiences of the "suffering church," especially in Ethiopia; reflect on the relevance of that suffering for Mennonite churches in North America; and outline a larger initiative for gathering stories of faithfulness that could result in a new volume of the "Martyrs Mirror," whose contents haven't changed since 1685.

Roth is a professor of history at Goshen, where he also serves as director of the Mennonite Historical Library and editor of The Mennonite Quarterly Review. He is founding director of the Institute for the Study of Global Anabaptism, also at Goshen, and secretary of the Mennonite World Conference Faith and Life Commission. He has been published widely on topics related to Anabaptist-Mennonite history and church life, and is currently focusing on several research projects relating to the global Anabaptist fellowship.

The C. Henry Smith Peace Lectureship honors the late professor who taught at Bluffton for 35 years, from 1913-48, after spending 10 years at Goshen College. Smith was known for his books on Mennonite history and the peace tradition of the Mennonite churches. After his death in 1948, his estate established a trust in his name that funds projects—including the lectureship—that promote the Mennonite peace message.

The lectureship is awarded each year to a faculty member from one of the Mennonite colleges, with priority given to Goshen and Bluffton faculty. The chosen faculty member must prepare a lecture that promotes the Mennonite peace stance, then present it at Bluffton and Goshen, and at other schools and on other occasions as invited.

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