Session IV: “Anabaptist Witness in the Empire I” – Janna Hunter-Bowman, Mark Thiessen Nation

& #Occupy Empire mini-conference, Faculty/Staff Speakers.

#Occupy Empire: Anabaptism in God’s Mission

Janna Hunter-Bowman offers a lecture, “Embodied Discourse as Truth Claims and Behavior Change: A Constructive Alternative to Human Rights,”  followed by a response by Mark Thiessen Nation.  Janna Hunter-Bowman is pursuing a Ph.D. in peace studies and theology from the University of Notre Dame.  She earned an M.A. degree in peace studies from Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary while teaching as an adjunct peace studies professor at Goshen College, her alma mater.  As a senior program officer for Justapaz, a Mennonite NGO in Bogota, Colombia, Janna developed and directed a national program monitoring political violence and peacebuilding.  She also led and translated for fact-finding missions, authored in-depth investigative reports on the effects fo U.S. plicy and published numerous book chapters and popular journal articles.  She served overseas through Mennonite Central Committee.  Janna also led policy advocacy efforts for Witness for Peace.  Her research interests–including rights talk, embodied ethics, and peacebuilding–are informed by her experience.

Mark Thiessen Nation is professor of  theology at Eastern Mennonite Seminary.  Prior to coming to EMS, Mark was the director of the London Mennonite Centre and previously led an ecumenical peace and justice organization in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois.  One of the world-s leading scholars and interpreters of John Howard Yoder, Mark is also completing work on a forthcoming book about Dietrich Bonhoeffer, contesting the common assertion that Bonhoeffer was involved in the plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler.  Mark holds a Ph.D. from Fuller Theological Seminary.

Conference planners Brian Gumm and Aaron Kauffman describe the conference in this way:

“Anabaptism at its best has been a series of attempts both to live into God’s in-breaking occupation and to faithfully occupy the empires of this fallen age, signaling the shalom to come. Anabaptists have gone about this work by imaginatively patterning their worship and witness after the New Testament communities of Jesus. Come explore ways in which the Anabaptist tradition can help inspire faithful occupation in today’s world. Interdisciplinary academic presentations will be infused with worship and testimonies to open our minds and spirits to where God is calling us into mission in the midst of empire.”