Martyrs Mirror Forum


Forum/exhibit to focus on “Martyrs Mirror” and the artwork of Jan Luyken

Dr. David Weaver-Zercher, professor of American religious history at Messiah College, will present “Humanizing Martyrdom: ‘Martyrs Mirror’ and the Artwork of Jan Luyken” during a Bluffton University Forum at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1 in Yoder Recital Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Dr. Weaver-Zercher, the author of a new social history of the “Martyrs Mirror,” will explain how images enlivened 17th century European accounts of Christian martyrdom such as the “Martyrs Mirror.”

“Martyrs Mirror” is considered the most important text to Anabaptists outside of the Bible. It is a compilation of stories of those who suffered and even died for their faith during the 16th and early 17th centuries.

In addition to Forum, Musselman Library will feature an exhibit titled, “Witnessing Marytyrdom: The Dramatic Art of Jan Luyken,” from Oct. 31–Nov. 22. An opening reception will be held at 7 p.m. on Oct. 31 in the Musselman Library’s Reading Room. Dr. Weaver-Zercher will share remarks at this event. Select exhibit items will be on display in the Reading Room during the reception. The entire exhibit will be displayed on the archives and special collections floor of the library for the remainder of the exhibit’s run.

The exhibit will include a number of rare books from the library’s Mennonite Historical Collections which include Luyken’s illustrations and will feature a copper plate etched by Luyken for the 1685 edition of the Dutch “Martyrs Mirror.” The plate’s image was used to illustrate the story of Jacques D’Auchy who was arrested in 1558 as a suspected Anabaptist. The plate is on loan to Bluffton University from the Martyrs Mirror Trust, a collaboration of the Mennonite Historical Library in Goshen, Ind., and of the Kauffman Museum in North Newton, Kan.