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7:30 pm, Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Administration Building, Room 28

C. Henry Smith Peace Lecture: "Conflict and Creativity: Shunning and Its Legacy in Amish and Mennonite Communities" by Professor of English Ann Hostetler

By exploring the impact of a shunning on three generations of an Amish family in Mifflin County, Pennsylvania during the period of 1930-2000, this lecture seeks to stimulate a conversation about the legacy of shunning on internal conflict in and among Mennonite churches. Few Mennonite churches today actively practice shunning, but its binary structure has affected our approach to church and conference divisions. While painful and damaging for individuals and families, shunning has the potential to open up creative possibilities for its survivors. However, by forcing creative growth to occur outside its walls, the church has too often forfeited opportunities for creative renewal. How can we create structures to foster growth, change and dialogue in our current times?

Ann Hostetler is the author of a book of poems, "Empty Room with Light," and the editor of an anthology, "A Cappella: Mennonite Voices in Poetry." Recently, with Steve Nolt, she revised and updated John A. Hostetler' historic first book, "The Amish (formerly Amish Life)." Her poems and essays have appeared in numerous magazines and scholarly journals. Hostetler is Professor of English and English Department Chair at Goshen College, where she has taught literature and creative writing since 1998. She taught American literature at two German Universities in 2010. With Ervin Beck, she co-edits the Journal of the Center for Mennonite Writing and serves as website editor of the Center for Mennonite Writing (www.mennonitewriting.org).

Contact: Professor of Peace, Justice and Conflict Studies Joe Liechty, phone (574) 535-7795, email joecl@goshen.edu