This weekend in Mount Joy is the 2016 edition of the “What Young Historians Are Thinking” symposium, sponsored jointly by the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society and the Sider Institute for Anabaptist, Pietist, and Wesleyan Studies at Messiah College. Here’s the summary of the presenters, all newly graduated scholars:
- Rhonda Miller will shed light on the treatment of Bethlehem, Pa. Moravians during the American Revolution. Moravians, historically a peace church, suffered many abuses from their neighbors including confiscation of property, ostensibly in support of the cause of liberty. A former Moravian, John Wetzel, led the campaign against the Moravians, attempting to drive them from Pennsylvania. Miller is a 2016 graduate of East Stroudsburg University, in East Stroudsburg, Pa..
- Dominika Hoefle will share the story of Ivan Magal. In 1960, Magal began his Russian language Golos Drooga or “Voice of a Friend” radio broadcast, under the auspices of Mennonite Broadcasting Inc., to support Christian Russian speakers in the Soviet Union and around the world. But his story begins earlier, with a childhood in Czechoslovakia, an encounter with Mennonite worker Paul Peachy in Belgium, and as the first international student at Eastern Mennonite College in Harrisonburg, Va. Hoefle is a 2016 graduate of Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Va..
- Quinton Meil will present on “Amish and Criminal Law: The English Response to Amish Crime and its Implications on Due Process.” He will consider the legal intersection of Amish and English populations noting how inconsistent application of the law has been developed and what areas of tension exist. Meil is a 2016 graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia, Pa.
I was lucky enough to present at the 2014 event, summarized nicely by that year’s emcee, Devin Manzullo-Thomas here: https://devincthomas.wordpress.com/2014/10/30/a-great-evening-with-some-young-historians/
Last year, the planets aligned so that I was in Lancaster for the symposium once again, albeit as a spectator, and I was very impressed with the strength of the scholarship on display.
Alas, this year I will be unable to attend, but I heartily recommend the evening to inquiring minds in Southeastern PA!
Best of luck to the presenters!