The New Yoder

By Peter Dula and Chris K. Huebner (editors)

Essays engaging with the work of the Mennonite theologian John Howard Yoder, showing his creative insight in a wide range of academic disiplines.

ISBN: 9780718892463


The work of the theologian, ethicist and Biblical scholar John Howard Yoder has become increasingly influential in recent years, and moreover, has been gaining influence in some surprising places. No longer restricted to the world of theological ethicists and Mennonites, Yoder has been discovered as a refreshing voice by scholars working in many other fields.

For thirty-five years, Yoder was known primarily as an articulate defender of Christian pacifism against a tradition of theological ethics dominated by the Troeltschian assumptions reflected in the work of Walter Rauschenbusch and Reinhold and Richard Niebuhr. But in the last decade, there has been a clearly identifiable shift in direction. A new generation of scholars has begun reading Yoder alongside figures most often associated with post-structuralism, neo-Nietzscheanism, and post-colonialism, resulting in original and productive new readings of his work. At the same time, scholars from outside of theology and ethics departments, indeed outside of Christianity itself, like Romand Coles and Daniel Boyarin, have discovered in Yoder a significant conversational partner for their own work.

This volume collects some of the best essays that have resulted from this new engagement with Yoder, and presents them in the hope of encouraging further such engagement from scholars and of bringing to a wider readership a greater appreciation of this important Protestant thinker.

Additional information

Dimensions 229 × 153 mm
Pages 358

Trade Information LPOD

About the Author

Peter Dula is Assistant Professor of Religion and Culture at Eastern Mennonite University.

Chris K. Huebner is Associate Professor of Theology and Philosophy at Canadian Mennonite University.


     Peter Dula and Chris K. Huebner

1. Judaism as a Free Church: Footnotes to John Howard Yoder’s The Jewish-Christian Schism Revisited
     Daniel Boyarin
2. The Christian Witness in the Earthly City: John Howard Yoder as Augustinian Interlocutor
     Gerald W. Schlabach
3. John Howard Yoder’s Systematic Defense of Christian Pacifism
     Nancey Murphy
4. The War of the Lamb: Postmodernity and Yoder’s Eschatological Genealogy of Morals
     P. Travis Kroeker
5. Foucault, Genealogy, Anabaptism: Confessions of an Errant Postmodernist
     Peter C. Blum
6. Yoder’s Patience and/with Derrida’s Différance
     Peter C. Blum
7. Patience, Witness, and the Scattered Body of Christ: Yoder and Virilio on Knowledge, Politics, and Speed
     Chris K. Huebner
8. On Exile: Yoder, Said, and a Politics of Land and Return
     Alain Epp Weaver
9. Memory in the Politics of Forgiveness
     J. Alexander Sider
10. Traumatic Violence and Christian Peacemaking
     Cynthia Hess
11. The Wild Patience of John Howard Yoder: “Outsiders” and the “Otherness of the Church”
     Romand Coles
12. Laughing With the World: Possibilities of Hope in John Howard Yoder and Jeffrey Stout
     Jonathan Tran
13. Epistemological Violence, Christianity, and the Secular
     Daniel Colucciello Barber
14. Fracturing Evangelical Recognitions of Christ: Inheriting the Radical Democracy of
     John Howard Yoder with the Penumbral Vision of Rowan Williams
     Joseph R. Wiebe
15. Communio Missionis: Certeau, Yoder, and the Missionary Space of the Church
     Nathan R. Kerr

List of Contributors


Endorsements and Reviews

The New Yoder is John Howard Yoder as dialogue partner both with and against the grain of Adorno, Foucault, Derrida, de Certeau, Horkheimer, Rowan Williams, Said, Stout, Volf, and many more. Here is patient, Christian theological pacifism beyond the either/ors that burdened a previous generation: beyond universalism vs. isolationism, Church vs. world, politics vs. quietism, Scripture vs. social activism. Here the eschaton meets postmodernity. The result? Anguished laughter, exilic politics, apocalypse, and dialogue: the work of Yoder-reading for our time.
Peter Ochs, University of Virginia

The New Yoder reflects Yoder’s growing presence in Anglophone theology, and shows how Yoder’s ideas resonate with Nietzsche and ‘post-modern’ thinkers such as Derrida, Focault, and de Certeau. … Yoder’s more nuanced and reflective prose draws readers of all kinds into theological engagement. Yoder makes new approaches to theological topics by questioning the fundamental terms of debate. As Peter Blum puts it in his essay, ‘he responds to questions not by answering them in their own terms, but by enquiring where the questions come from.’ … The New Yoder makes fascinating but demanding reading, and although the authors make some effort to provide explanations to of, say, Focault’s and Derrida’s thinking, they tend to assume that readers will already be familiar with the ideas and thinkers under discussion. Nevertheless, there is still plenty in this book for the non-specialist reader; and those involved in theological study will find much here to stimulate their thinking.
Revd Dr Hugh Rayment-Pickard, in The Church Times, May 2012

This is an engaging and important collection which shows promising signs of new ways of responding to and working in conversation with the immensely important and influential work of Yoder. … If you have ever wondered what might have happened if Yoder had read postmodern Continental philosophy, or engaged positively with Augustine, or been influenced by post-colonialism, this collection is a must-read.
Elizabeth Phillips, in Theology, Vol 116(1)

… an excellent collection of essays.
Stephen Lawson, Saint Louis University, in Reviews in Religion and Theology, Vol 20, No 3