Swiss Anabaptism Presentation


Presentations to explore Swiss Anabaptism and the Reformation

Dr. C. Arnold Snyder, professor emeritus of history at Conrad Grebel University, will present “Hiding in Plain Sight: Swiss Anabaptism in the Later 16th Century” at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 23 in Bluffton University’s Kreider Room of Marbeck Center and “Toleration in the Reformation: Historical Reflections for Today,” at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 24 in Yoder Recital Hall.

During the Monday presentation, Dr. Snyder, a leading authority on Swiss Anabaptism, will describe the persistence of an underground Anabaptist remnant in communities where such churches were officially forbidden. The presentation summarizes the life and thought of the later Swiss Anabaptists and describes findings resulting from preparation of Dr. Snyder’s new book “Later Writings of the Swiss Anabaptists, 1529-1592.” Copies of this book will be available for purchase and author signing.

For Forum on Tuesday, Dr. Snyder’s will discuss the crisis of faith and governance brought on by the European Reformation, launched 500 years ago with Martin Luther’s posting of the 95 Theses on the doors of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg, Germany. Although Luther advanced powerful arguments for non-coercion in matters of faith and conscience, the Reformation unleashed widespread intolerance in the name of true faith. Dr. Snyder will consider lessons in this story for Christians today.

The presentations are part of a series of events that are being held in coordination with the travelling 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.