Bluffton University to hold presentation on Anabaptist martyrs

Dr. Gerald J. Mast, professor of communication at Bluffton University will present “What Suffering Martyrs Teach Us about Christian Mission: Lessons from the Passau Songs of the ‘Ausbund,’” at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 8 in Marbeck Center’s Kreider Room.

Among the Anabaptist martyrs memorialized in “Martyrs Mirror” were the composers and singers of the core songs of the early Swiss Anabaptist hymnbook—the “Ausbund.” This presentation explains how these witnesses, imprisoned in the Passau castle during the mid-1530s, conceived of Christian mission as joyful sharing together in the suffering and salvation of Jesus Christ.

The presentation is part of a series of events that are being held in coordination with the traveling exhibit “Mirror of the Martyrs,” which will be on display from Oct. 1-Nov. 5 in the Albrecht Gallery of Bluffton’s Sauder Visual Arts Center.

This dramatic and colorful exhibit tells the story of religious conflict and violence in the Reformation era from the perspective of Anabaptist martyrs and offers one way to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. 

Gallery hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Saturday, 1-5 p.m. and Sunday, 1-6 p.m.

The Mirror of the Martyrs exhibit is based on illustrated martyr stories from the 1685 “Martyrs Mirror,” and features eight of the original copper plates produced by Dutch artist Jan Luyken to illustrate the book. The exhibit allows visitors to learn about Mennonite religious heritage and its application to people’s contemporary lives. The award-winning exhibit was developed and produced at the Kauffman Museum in North Newton Kansas.

For more information about additional exhibit related presentations and performances visit

All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.