From Suffering to Solidarity: The Historical Seeds of Mennonite Interreligious, Interethnic, and International Peacebuilding

By Andrew P. Klager (editor)

Essays that explain how the historical experiences of Mennonites and Anabaptists have shaped their modern approach to conflict resolution and peacebuilding.

ISBN: 9780718894313


As experiences of suffering continue to influence the responses of identity groups in the midst of war, a way to harness their narratives, stories, memories, and myths in transformative and non-violent ways is needed. From Suffering to Solidarity explores the historical seeds of Mennonite peacebuilding approaches and their application in violent conflicts around the world. The essayists draw out the experiences of Anabaptists and Mennonites from the sixteenth-century origins through to the present that have shaped their approaches to conflict transformation and inspired new generations of Mennonites to engage in relief, development, and peacebuilding to alleviate the suffering of others whose experiences today reflect those of their ancestors. They explore the various peacebuilding approaches, methods, and initiatives that have emerged from this Mennonite narrative and its preservation and dissemination in subsequent generations. Finally, they examine how this combined historical sensitivity and resulting peacebuilding theory and practice have been applied in violent conflicts around the world, noting both successes and challenges. Ultimately, From Suffering to Solidarity attempts to answer a question: How can a robust historical infrastructure be used to inspire empathetic solidarity with the Other and end the cycle of violence?

Additional information

Dimensions 229 × 153 mm
Pages 428

Trade Information LPOD

About the Author

Andrew P. Klager is a Research Associate at the Anabaptist-Mennonite Centre for Faith and Learning, Trinity Western University, British Columbia, and he also teaches at the Centre for Mennonite Studies, University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford. He holds a PhD in Religious Studies and is the author of several articles and book chapters on Anabaptist origins, the history of Christianity, Mennonites and peace and conflict studies, and interreligious peacebuilding between Muslims and Christians.


Foreword by Marc Gopin
List of Contributors

Part One: Historical Conditions of Anabaptist-Mennonite Peacebuilding Approaches
Part Two: Analysis of the Historically Conditioned Mennonite Peacebuilding Approaches
Part Three: Application of Mennonite Peacebuilding Approaches in Conflict Settings



Endorsements and Reviews

Oppression, injustice, suffering, violence are everywhere. So are rays of hope that these plagues may be alleviated, even some day brought to an end. … I have repeatedly found that Mennonite activists and missions are there on the ground, living and working in solidarity with the victims, and Andrew Klager’s fine collection on the Mennonite way of proceeding ‘from suffering to solidarity’ provides a most enlightening and instructive guide to these impressive contributions, and what we can learn from them.
Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor & Professor of Linguistics (Emeritus), Linguistic Theory, Syntax, Semantics, Philosophy of Language, MIT

[T]his volume is a testimony to the impressive breadth of contemporary Mennonite global endeavour – Egypt, Colombia, Indonesia, Palestine-Israel, Congo, Bosnia-Hercegovina and Kosovo – this more than a deep historical analysis, which is mainly to be found in the first few chapters.
John Briggs, in Baptist Quarterly, 2017

This wide-ranging work is commended for offering fresh and creative insights that might open new horizons for building peace.
Katie R. Leggett, in Theological Book Review, Vol 27, No 2