Annotated Bibliography of Mennonite Writings on War and Peace, 1930-1980 (Monograph)

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Title page of Annotated Bibliography of Mennonite Writings on War and Peace, 1930-1980.

Swartley, Willard M. and Cornelius J. Dyck, editors. Annotated Bibliography of Mennonite Writings on War and Peace, 1930-1980. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1987. 740 pp. ISBN: 0-8361-1292-X, Red cloth covers. Sold for US $59.95.

Annotated Bibliography of Mennonite Writings on War and Peace, 1930-1980 was prepared by the Institute of Mennonite Studies (IMS), Elkhart, Indiana, led by its directors, first Cornelius J. Dyck and then William M. Swartley. Wide opposition to the Vietnam War (also called the “American War”) and the need for information by students, teachers, and peace workers on Mennonite statements on peace and war was the impetus for its preparation. IMS its directors and assistants who are listed on the title page, with the help of many students, took fifteen years to complete this project. The bibliography contains over 6,000 unique entries from more than 2,000 authors. The annotations are succinct and of great value, with a length usually between 20 to 60 words. Many works are listed under several subject categories, making the total number of entries under all categories in the bibliography about 12,000.

Though the project began as a simple list of titles, it grew to be a significant book sized comprehensive annotated bibliography of Mennonite writings on war and peace for the years 1930-1980. As the bibliographers carefully examined Mennonite peace literature, they noted that after the 16th century enthusiastic Anabaptist writings on the biblical teaching of peace, little further was written by Mennonites over the next three centuries on their doctrine of peace. However, by the 1930s, particularly when Guy F. Hershberger began writing, the amount of printed materials on peace began to grow rapidly. The editors decided that they would limit their bibliography to 50 years, 1930 to 1980, focusing primarily on English language works of North America.

The inclusiveness meant that the bibliography includes not only scholarly publications but also popular works such as church publications, published letters, student papers, news reports, poetry, and editorials. The range of subject matter is also broad, for in the second half of the 20th century, the concept of peace has developed into much more than just the absent of war. The bibliography includes materials on race relations, relief, refugees, amnesty, civil disobedience, labor strife, development, social assistance, and justice. However, there are some areas like child abuse, incest, or wife battering that it seems Mennonites wrote little on in this time period.

The bibliography contains an informative "Preface," then a "Guide to Topic Search" which gives the structure of the entries. The entries are not numbered but listed in author order. There are 17 major topics and most of these are further subdivided, making a total of 47 topics. The "Guide to Topic Search" contains not only their title but also valuable descriptors of their content. Each page has a header informing readers of the topic being covered. Next is a list of publications examined, then "Abbreviations" and the bibliography itself. At the end is an author Index.

The bibliography is an outstanding tool for locating and using Mennonite print literature of this time period and it met an important need for information. The bibliography demonstrates the wide range of Mennonites who wrote on peace and on the great variety of publications produced on this far reaching topic. For example there were about 500,000 Mennonites in North America at this time and if over 2,000 people authored something worthy of inclusion then this bibliography indicates that at least one in every 250 Mennonites wrote something worthy on peace. Further the 6,000 unique items listed indicate that there is one item for about every 83 Mennonites. However, the bibliography was published at the end of the print era for reference works and it is unlikely that a work of this magnitude and comprehensiveness will ever again be in print. After this time these types of bibliographies have changed and they have become digital and displaced in part by easy searchable large online database.


Author(s) Victor G Wiebe
Date Published February 2015


Cite This Article

MLA style

Wiebe, Victor G. "Annotated Bibliography of Mennonite Writings on War and Peace, 1930-1980 (Monograph)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. February 2015. Web. 23 Oct 2017. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Annotated_Bibliography_of_Mennonite_Writings_on_War_and_Peace,_1930-1980_(Monograph)&oldid=130817.

APA style

Wiebe, Victor G. (February 2015). Annotated Bibliography of Mennonite Writings on War and Peace, 1930-1980 (Monograph). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 October 2017, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Annotated_Bibliography_of_Mennonite_Writings_on_War_and_Peace,_1930-1980_(Monograph)&oldid=130817.




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