What and how can we learn from Anabaptist history?
The example of Pilgram Marpeck
Sixteenth and twenty-first century Europe are separated by five centuries and very different contexts. Anabaptists, Mennonites and others have often looked to Anabaptist history as a source of theological, ecclesiological and ethical inspiration. Can we learn from history without manipulating it or forcing it to answer questions of today that were not asked yesterday? Our first task is to do history as carefully and honestly as possible, realizing at the same time that today’s questions are often the prism used to look at the past.
Using Pilgram Marpeck’s life and theology, this lecture will attempt first of all to sort out the differences between contexts and secondly to ask the question of what if anything can we learn from Pilgram Marpeck for Europe’s post-Christian and secularized situations. We will also look at the place of Anabaptism in the larger (and divided) Christian family.
By November, Neal Blough will be the retired director of the Paris Mennonite Centre, ‘professor emeritus of church history’ of the Faculté Libre de Théologie (Vaux sur Seine), and lecturer at the Institut for Ecumenical Studies at the Catholic University of Paris.
He is the author of several books, including Christologie anabaptiste: Pilgram Marpeck et l’humanité du Christ; Christ in our Midst. Incarnation, Church and Discipleship in the Theology of Pilgram Marpeck; and Les révoltés de l’Evangile: Balthasar Hubmaier et les origines de l’anabaptisme.
The annual lecture will take place on Wednesday 25 November at 11.30. In light of ongoing restrictions due to the pandemic, this lecture will be given online. You can register here if you want to watch live. The lecture will be recorded, as previous lectures have been. All are available on request.
Bristol Baptist College also offers an MA programme and it is possible to take a Centre for Anabaptist Studies pathway through the degree. The College also welcomes applications for research degrees in the area of Anabaptist Studies.
For further information about any aspect of the Centre please contact Stuart Murray Williams.