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Mary Sprunger

DEPARTMENT: History Dept

POSITION: Department Chair and Professor

LOCATION: Main Campus, Harrisonburg | RLN 314

PHONE: (540) 432-4408

EMAIL: mary.sprunger@emu.edu

Mary Susan Sprunger has taught at EMU since 1992. She earned a B.A. in history and German at Bethel College (Kansas) and an M.A. and Ph.D. in history from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Her teaching interests include European history, world history, women’s history, Mennonite history and historical movies. She is writinig a book on the economic and cultural dimensions of a wealthy, urban Mennonite church during the Dutch Golden Age (the seventeenth-century). She is married and is the mother of two children.


BA, Bethel College
PHD, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana
MA, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana


Co-editor with Mark Jantzen and John D. Thiesen. European Mennonites and the Challenge of Modernity over Five Centuries: Contributors, Detractors, and Adapters. North Newton, KS: Bethel College, 2016.

“A Mennonite Capitalist Ethic in the Dutch Golden Age; Weber Revisited.” In European Mennonites and the Challenge of Modernity over Five Centuries: Contributors, Detractors, and Adapters, edited by Mark Jantzen, Mary S. Sprunger and John D. Thiesen, 51-70 (see above).

“Being Mennonite: Neighborhood, Family, and Confessional Choice in Golden Age Amsterdam.” In Religious Minorities and Cultural Diversity in the Dutch Republic: Studies Presented to Piet Visser on the Occasion of his 65th Birthday, edited by August den Hollander, Alex Noord, Mirjam van Veen and Anna Voolstra, 150-70. Brill’s Series in Church History 67. Leiden: Brill, 2014.

“Deaconesses, Fishwives, Crooks and Prophetesses: Mennonite Image and Reality in Golden Age Amsterdam.” In Sisters: Myth and Reality of Anabaptist, Mennonite, and Doopsgezind Women, ca 1525-1900, edited by Mirjam van Veen, Piet Visser and Gary K. Waite, 169-85. Brill’s Series in Church History 65. Leiden: Brill, 2014.

Apologia for an Informed Mennonite Citizenry: A Personal Journey.” Conrad Grebel Review 30 (2012): 286-98.

“Limits of Faith in a Maritime Empire: Mennonites, Trade and Politics in the Dutch Golden Age” in The Limits of Empire: European Imperial Formations in Early Modern World History, edited by Antonio Andrade and William Reger, pp. 59-77. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2012. (festschrift for Geoffrey Parker).

Book Review of Huebert Hecht, Linda A. Women in Early Austrian Anabaptism: Their Days, Their Stories in Mennonite Quarterly Review 85 (2011): 325-27.

“Keeney, William E.” Article for new German Mennonite Encyclopedia (_Mennonitische Lexikon), vol. 5: Part I: People (in press). See online at: http://www.mennlex.de/doku.php?id=art:keeney_william_e

Co-author with Keith L. Sprunger. “The Church in the Bakehouse: John Smyth’s English Anabaptist Congregation at Amsterdam, 1609-1660.” Mennonite Quarterly Review 85 (2011): 219-258.

“Limits of Faith in a Maritime Empire: Mennonites, Trade and Politics in the Dutch Golden Age.” Will appear as chapter in Geoffrey Parker festschrift.

“Why the Rich Got Mennonite: Church Membership, Status and Wealth in Golden Age Amsterdam.” Journal of Mennonite Studies 27 (2009): 41-59.

“Iemand burgemeester maken. Doopsgezinden en regenten geslachten in de Gouden Eeuw te Amsterdam.” Doopsgezind Bijdragen 32 (2006): 75-121. (“In Bed With the Burgomaster: Mennonites and Regent Family Ties in Golden Age Amsterdam”).

“Mennonites and Sectarian Poor Relief in Golden-Age Amsterdam.” In The Reformation of Charity: The Secular and the Religious in Early Modern Poor Relief, pp. 137-53. Edited by Thomas Max Safley. Boston and Leiden: Brill, 2003.

“Mutual Aid Among Dutch Waterlander Mennonites, 1605-1668.” In _Building Communities of

Compassion_, 144-67. Edited by Willard Swartley and Donald B. Graybill. Scottdale. PA: Herald Press, 1998.

Co-author with Piet Visser. Menno Simons: Places, Portraits and Progeny. Masthof Press, 1996.

“Entrepreneurs and Ethics: Mennonite Merchants in Seventeenth-Century Amsterdam.” In Entrepreneurs and Entrepreneurship in Early Modern Times: Merchants and Industrialists within the Orbit of the Dutch Staple Market, 213-21. Edited by C. Lesger and L. Noordegraaf. Hollandse Historische Reeks 24, 1996.

Scholarly Presentations and Abstracts

  • “Merchant, Tailor, Fishwife, Sailor: Mennonite Identity and Community in Golden Age Amsterdam.” University Colloquium, Eastern Mennonite University, September 2011.
  • Invited Participant: *“The Allochthonous and Autochtonous Mennonite Community of Golden Age Amsterdam: Internal and Translocal Networks as a Factor in Prosperity,” Diasporas as Transloal Societies Workshop/Conference, University of Oldenburg, Germany, 1 September 2011.
  • “Mennonites, Capitalism and Modernity: Weber Revisited,” Marginal or Mainstream? Anabaptists, Mennonites and Modernity in European Society, Bethel College, North Newton, Kansas, 25 June 2010.
  • “The Limits of Faith in a Maritime Empire: Mennonites, Trade and Politics in the Dutch Golden Age,” The Limits of Empire in the Early Modern World: A Conference in Honor of Professor Geoffrey Parker, Mershon Center for International Security Studies, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, 28 February 2009.
  • “Why the Rich Got Mennonite: Church Membership, Status and Wealth in Golden Age Amsterdam,” Mennonites and Money: Wealth and Poverty in the Past and Present, Winnipeg, Manitoba, 10 Oct. 2008.
  • Invited Participant in Liberty Fund Conference “Religious Dissent and Liberty,” Charleston, SC, 11-14 October 2007.
  • “Deaconesses, Fishwives, Crooks and Prophetesses: Women and the Burden of Mennonite Respectability in a Seventeenth-Century Congregation,” International Conference: Myth and Reality of Anabaptist/Mennonite Women, ca 1525-1900, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, 31 August 2008.
  • “Why the Rich Got Mennonite: New Findings on Membership, Status and Wealth among Early Dutch Mennonites,” Anabaptist Colloquium, Harrisonburg, VA, 8 April 2006.
  • “In Bed With the Burgomaster: Mennonites and Political Influence in Golden-Age Amsterdam,” Sixteenth-Century Studies Conference, Atlanta, GA, 21 October 2005.