7:00 pm, Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Newcomer Center, Room 17

Ted Grimsrud Lecture

Both of Ted Grimsrud's parents participated in World War II ? his father fought in the Pacific War and his mother served as a recruiter. And Grimsrud was named after a good friend of theirs who was killed in combat.

On Wednesday, Oct. 6 at 7 p.m., Grimsrud, a professor of theology at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Va., will give a presentation on "The Long Shadow: World War II's Moral Legacy" at Goshen College in Newcomer Center Room 17.

Grimsrud, who was a teenager during the Vietnam War years, grew up viewing World War II as good and necessary until he began to question the moral legitimacy of war altogether. Since becoming a pacifist when he was in his early 20s, Grimsrud has frequently been asked the question by non-pacifists: "But what about World War II?" His lecture is the result of his efforts to figure out a thoughtful response to that question. It seemed clear to him that the memory of that war continues to play a major role in informing Americans' attitudes toward the moral legitimacy of warfare.

"My focus in my education and my work as a pastor and professor has been on biblical and theological issues related to war and peace, with some energy also spent on early church and Reformation-era history," Grimsrud said, "I've always been interested in contemporary issues and even wrote my dissertation on World War II conscientious objectors, but I haven't given sustained attention to the moral legacy of World War II until very recently. I'm thinking now, though, that reflecting on that legacy might be quite important for present-day peacemakers."

Grimsrud became a Mennonite in his mid-20s. He believes his parents' influence on him prepared him for embracing the Mennonite peace position, even if they themselves remained convinced of the value of their participation in World War II. They both have been dead for a number of years, so Grimsrud doesn't know what they would think of his current project. "In studying World War II and its aftermath, I do feel like I am having a kind of conversation with both my parents."

This event, which is sponsored by Goshen College's Bible and Religion Department, is free and open to the public.

Contact: Paul Keim, phone (574) 535-7989, email pkeim@goshen.edu