Brethren Life & Thought

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A scholarly journal published in the interest of the Church of the Brethren

Brethren Life & Thought is a joint publication of Bethany Theological Seminary and the Brethren Journal Association (BJA). The journal solicits thoughtful interpretive essays, scholarly articles, and short creative works, including poetry reflecting the faith, heritage, and practices of the Church of the Brethren and related movements.

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    Current Issue

    Current Issue

    Vol 65:1 consists of 7 diverse articles.

    The Love Feast in the Twenty-First Century: Useless Heirloom or Transformative Practice?  -Jeremy McClung

    Poetry Speaks Across Time and Place: A Conversation Between the Poetry of Tania Runyan and Brethren Women – Karen Garrett

    Brethren Heritage in Japan: Peace Studies as a Window into the Vision of the Church of the Brethren –  Toru Kataoka

    Human Trafficking: A Call for the Church to Respond – Vivek Solanky

    A Biblical Hermeneutic: Our Non-Human Neighbors and Christian Responsibility – Gene G. Bradbury

    God Saw It Was Good: Genesis 1 – Steven Schweitzer

    True Faith and Wisdom: James 3:13–4:10 – Rudy Taylor

    Recent Past Issues

    Vol 64:2 consists of ten diverse articles.

    • Peace as a Keystone for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): A Case Study of Boko Haram Violence in Nigeria – Rebecca Dali, Patricia Krabacher, Justin A. North, Samuel Dali, Nathan Hosler and Kathryn H. Jacobson
    • Recovering African American Voice and Experience in Brethren History: A Biographical Essay on Mattie Cunningham Dolby, 1878-1956 – Nicholas Patler
    • Brethren in the Oval Office, 1916 – Steven M. Nolt
    • The Old German Baptist Brethren: Exploring a Different Kind of Sunday – Tony Walsh
    • A Christ Centered Education: The Pedagogical Posture of J. Allen Miller – Jason Barnhart
    • The Church of Christ Adapts: Proclaiming the Kingdom of God in Every Age – Audrey Hollenberg-Duffey
    • Reflections on Church Renewal – David Young
    • Inspiring Peace from the Back of the Church: Spencer and Sadie and “Jesus Loves Me”

    Vol 64:1 consists of six diverse articles plus book reviews.

    • “Living and Moving Amongst Us Again”: John Kline and Civil War Martyrdom – Aaron Jerviss
    • “Annual Conference at a Crossroads” – Carol Scheppard
    • “Writing Among the Ruins: Or, Brethren Press as a Prophetic, Poetic, and Pragmatic Ministry” – Scott Holland
    • “Bethany Theological Seminary: The Danger of the Single Story” – Ruthann Knechel Johansen
    • “Organizing the Brethren: The Mission and Ministry Board Organization Amidst Competing Notions of Identity” -Ben Barlow
    • “’Does This World Have Time to Flourish’: Revelation 20:1-6” – Ken Rogers
    • “Franz Jägerstätter: A Lesser-Known Witness for Peace” – Nolan McBride
    • “Unity What is Bound” – Cheryl Thomas
    • “From Just War to Just Peace” – Donald E. Miller

    Vol 63:1 (Spring/Summer 2018) publishes articles on a variety of topics, including papers presented at a conference on WWI and conscientious objection.

    “Crisis in Nigeria: Girl’s Education and Development in the Face of Terrorism” – Musa Mambula
    “How the Peace of Christ Confronts the Wars of the World” – Robert Johansen
    “1917-1919: A Proving Time for Maurice A. Hess and Brethren Nonresistance” – Timothy S. G. Binkley
    “Conscience, Scripture and Tradition in Tension: M. G. Brumbaugh, World War I, and the Erosion of the Church of the Brethren Peace Witness” – William Kostlevy
    “The Brethren Central Service Committee: Non-combatant or Conscientious Objector?” – Jacob Gordon
    “The Irony of the Brethren and Military Service in World War I: A Theological Perspective” – George Pickens
    “Dare to Be Inspired: Jarrod McKenna” – Tyler Goss
    “Salt with Savor” – Jan Orndorff

    Vol 62 No. 2 (Fall/Winter 2017-2018) This issue considers the theme of ecotheology and includes articles and poetry.

    • “Creation and Community: The Roots of an Anabaptist Environmental Ethic” – Nathanael Inglis
    • “‘Use, So as Not to Abuse’: A Summary of Brethren Views on Nature and Environmentalism” – Jonathan Stauffer
    • “Dust to Dust: A Zero Waste Lenten Journey” – Katie Heishman
    • “Acting on Climate: A Faithful Response to a Defining Global Challenge” – Rachel L. Lamb
    • “A Life-Giving Word for God’s Green Earth: John 1:1-14” – Daniel W. Ulrich
    • “An Ecotheological Theory of Atonement Drawn from a Reading of ‘The Dream of the Rood'” – Evan R. Underbrink
    • “The Supreme Gospel of Love: Reimagining Church through Working Together, Worshipping Together and Eating Together”” – Anna Woofenden
    • “You Never Know What Will Be Required of You,” sermon text: Luke 9:57-62 – Frank A. Thomas
    • Poetry by Chibuzo Petty, Elizabeth Ullery Swenson, Dan Ulrich, and Evan Underbrink

    Vol 62 No. 1 (Spring 2017) consists of six diverse articles plus book reviews.

    • “Covenant and Conscience: Biblical Principles for Living in Community Together” – Steven Schweitzer
    • “Reclaiming My Faith in a Land of Conflict: My Journey to the Holy Land” – Melanee Hamilton
    • “The Reverend Osagyefo Sekou: Dreaming of Peace, On Fire for Justice” – Bryan Hanger (Bethany Peace Essay Contest winner)
    • “The Influences of Pietism on the Development of the Church of the Brethren” – Dan Poole
    • “President Vernon F. Schwalm: Church of the Brethren Leader as Founder of the 1948 Manchester College Peace Studies Program” – Toru Kataoka
    • “Violence and Vengeance, Mimesis and Murder, Conflict and Cross: A Critical-Constructive Engagement with Rene Girard” – Darrin Belousek

    Past Issues

    Vol 61 No. 2 (Fall 2016) focuses on conflict transformation. An ecumenical array of writers draw from scholarship and personal experience as they engage a wide range of views on the theory and practice of conflict transformation.

    • Ellen Ott Marshall shares an overview of the theology of conflict transformation.
    • Nathan Hollenberg considers conflict in light of Matthew 18.
    • Amy Todd Kelly touches on “intractable conflicts,” in which divisions are so deep that reconciliation might not be possible.
    • The transcript from Samuel Sarpiya’s insight session at Annual Conference 2016 is included.
    • In annotated form, Matt Guynn shares a workshop he presented.
    • Gertrude Fester, a black South African feminist scholar, gives voice to African women’s experiences.
    • The guest editor is Debbie Roberts, assistant professor of reconciliation studies at Bethany.

    Vol. 61 Supplement (Summer 2016)
    Brethren and Evangelicalism is an extra issue published in partnership with Bridgewater College. The issue features the papers from the 2015 Bridgewater symposium, Brethren Evangelicalism in the Twenty-First Century. Authors include voices from the Mennonite Church; Church of the Brethren; Brethren Church; Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches; and Old German Baptist Brethren, New Conference. Single copies are available.

    Vol. 61 No. 1 (Spring 2016): Continuing the celebration!
    This collection of articles includes the topics of current racism challenges, Revelation 17-18, mission and patronage, foot washing, and simplicity. Single copies are available.

    Brethren Life & Thought Fall 2016
    Brethren Life & Thought Vol 61 Supplement

    Vol. 60 No. 2 (Fall 2015)
    In this issue we go Back to the Archives as a tribute to longtime Brethren Life & Thought book review editor and Church of the Brethren archivist Ken Shaffer. The articles discuss a variety of historical topics where research began or most certainly included a visit to an archive. There are also short reflections on Shaffer’s contributions among the Brethren and some of his original writing. Authors of the articles are listed below.

    • Kelley Brenneman: “The Life of Andrew Cordier”
    • Denise D. Kettering-Lane: “Anointing for Healing”
    • H. Kendall Rogers: “Early Brethren and Celibacy in Marriage”
    • Dale R. Stoffer: “John Kline and the 1861 Annual Meeting”
    • Dawn Ottoni-Wilhelm and Carol A. Scheppard: John Kline Lectures
    Brethren Life & Thought Fall 2015

    Vol. 60 No. 1 (Spring 2015)
    Our series entitled Celebrating 60 Years! begins with this issue. We revisit some of our popular articles from the past and offer contemporary reflections on topics such as women in ministry, the peace position, adult baptism, worship, and church leadership. Authors include John Ballinger, Christina Bucher, Dana Cassell, Samuel Funkhouser, Scott Holland, and Dawn Ottoni-Wilhelm.

    Vol. 59 No. 2 (Fall 2014)
    This themed issue was inspired by a symposium held at Bridgewater College in 2013. The symposium brought together diverse voices to consider what the denomination might look like in twenty years. The articles in this issue by Ruthann Knechel Johansen, Brian Messler, David R. Miller, Julie M. Hostetter, and Mary Jo Flory-Steury were papers presented at that event. To those voices we added

    • an article on a multicultural vision for the church by Darla Deardorff;
    • an article on church revitalization by Leah J. Hileman;
    • an article by Russell Haitch on the relationship of Christianity to culture through the lens of parenting.

    Also featured are two essays that were entries in the 2013 Baker Peace Essay contest. One is by Kyle Riege, addressing the problem of bullying, and the other is by Aidan Ottoni-Wilhelm on the challenges experienced by high school students trying to embrace peace. In addition to all this, we include the 2014 Bethany Theological Seminary commencement address by Chris Bowman, “God Ordained a Worm,” based on Jonah 4.

    Vol. 59 No. 1 (Spring 2014)
    This is the first issue compiled under the direction of editor Denise Kettering-Lane. It is an eclectic issue presenting articles on a variety of topics, a something-for-everyone kind of issue. Dale Stoffer tackles the topic of refellowshipped Brethren, focusing on two nineteenth-century Brethren groups, the Leedy Brethren and the Congregational Brethren. Diane Mason offers an overview of conscientious objection in the twentieth century, considering the different ways Brethren interpreted nonresistance and peace in the face of war. Raj Bhagat discusses the success of the Brethren mission to India. Dennis Webb, pastor of a multicultural congregation, offers a forward-looking discussion of multiculturalism from both theoretical and practical perspectives. Josh Brockway discusses spiritual gifts and the way that Brethren might discern these gifts within the life of the congregation. Stephen Thomas August exegetes John 21 in light of the notion of call and particularly highlights the difference between communal and individual call. The issue concludes with a reflection by Jeff Carter, president of Bethany Theological Seminary, on some interesting points of continuity between the mission of Bethany Theological Seminary and the work of John Kline.

    Brethren Life & Thought Spring 2015

    Summaries of Additional Past Issues

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    Members and subscribers are now able to access articles in all back issues of Brethren Life & Thought through this website. A secure login is required, consisting of an ID and PIN. Your ID number is your customer number and appears with the PIN on your mailing label for your convenience. ID numbers and PINs can also be obtained by emailing blt@bethanyseminary.edu. Once you have your login information, you may access ATLA here.

    Disclaimer: Authors are solely responsible for the contents of their articles. The Brethren Journal Association and Bethany Theological Seminary disclaim responsibility for statements, either of fact or opinion, made by the contributors.