BOLIVIA Those of you following the Bolivia Mennonites rape scandal and subsequent trial and judgment will want to read Mennonite Weekly Review associate editor Tim Huber’s editorial about it. At Sightings, Adam Darlage reflects on the “shocking” story in terms of how the “pacifist Anabaptist tradition” has shifted in the American imagination, from “deeply distrusting Old Order Anabaptism to romanticizing it.” He argues that a “doomsday narrative” that posits Old Order Anabaptist groups as symbols of virtue where vice should not reach is “a poor approach to these tragedies [the Nickel Mines tragedy and the sex scandal in Bolivia]” and concludes:
The Old Orders within the historic Peace Church tradition deserve more than facile narratives of nostalgia and woe when terrible events like these happen…. Instead, these groups merit deeply contextual understandings of their particular problems and concerns by people who would approach them for what they are: lived religious communities of human beings with their own sets of rituals, values, symbols and, to be sure, their own very human problems as well.
I’m not sure the Bolivian version of Old Order Anabaptism has taken on the same nostalgic hue as the Amish one, but Darlage’s point is well taken. I’m looking forward to stretching my understanding of context at the upcoming Mennonite Studies conference at the University of Winnipeg, Oct. 21-22, “Anti-Modern Pathways: ‘Horse and Buggy’ Mennonites in Canada, Belize and Latin America.”
BREAD The Mennonite Girls Can Cook team has pretty well cornered the market on recipe resources, but I can’t help mentioning a great bread recipe I got over at Darlene Klassen’s blog, Prairie Perspective. It’s terrific! Five loaves cooling on the counter as I speak…
BEACH STORY At my author site, details of the MB Herald summer reader, with my short story, “Long Beach” in it. Summer’s nearly over, I know, but it’s never too late to cozy into a chair with a cold drink or cup of tea — or a slice of fresh bread — and a (short) story!
AND MORE Around the blogosphere… Raspberry Jeffe has an inspiring story about a gal who’s making a difference in Africa… Congrats to 100 Memoirs for her well-deserved listing in the 50 best blogs about memoir… MaryLou Driedger, internet diarist extraordinaire, has retired from her teaching in HongKong and is back in Winnipeg, which means she’s retired her Hong Kong Journal but is back with a great new blog, What Next, set in my city… And I’m delighted to see that Katie Funk Wiebe, Mennonite writer and self-confessed octogenarian, has taken up blogging at Second Thoughts.