Peace Lecture


Dr. Steven M. Nolt will present the 2018 C. Henry Smith Peace Lecture

Dr. Steven M. Nolt, senior scholar at the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies and professor of history and Anabaptist studies at Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pa., will present the 2018 C. Henry Smith Peace Lecture at Bluffton University.

During the presentation he will examine the debate over military service and conscientious objection in the increasingly diverse Mennonite community of Virginia’s Tidewater area—home to a concentration of military bases and contractors. The well-published Anabaptist historian will discuss “Place, Race and Pacifism among Virginia Mennonites in the 1990s” at 11 a.m., Tuesday, March 20, in Stutzman Lecture Hall. This event is free and open to the public.

This will be the C. Henry Smith Peace Lecture for 2018. The 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.

Nolt is the author or coauthor of fourteen books on Amish, Mennonite, and Pennsylvania German history and contemporary life. He is widely recognized for his scholarship on Anabaptist groups across North America. He holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Notre Dame. He also serves as series editor for Young Center Books in Anabaptist and Pietist Studies published by the Johns Hopkins University Press.