Mennonite Metaphysics?


Mennonite Metaphysics? Exploring the Philosophical Aspects of Mennonite Theology from Pacifist Epistemology to Ontological Peace” Mennonite Quarterly Review 91/3 (July 2017): 403-421.

“There is a certain antithesis between being philosophical and being Mennonite.”
– Ralph C. Kauffman (1943)

This study traces the history of the relationship between Mennonite theology and philosophy from its early stages in the work of Ralph C. Kauffman and Robert Friedmann, through the differing attitudes toward theological resourcing of philosophy in the works of John Howard Yoder and A. James Reimer, to recent efforts to bring Yoder into conversation with contemporary philosophers. The essay first addresses the supposed contradictions between Mennonite identity and philosophy, and then—drawing on the work of J. Lawrence Burkholder, Chris Huebner, and Peter Blum—it explores the ways in which these contradictions are both resolved and sustained in the conjugation of Mennonite peace theology and philosophy that constitutes pacifist epistemology and its extension to ontology in the debate with Radical Orthodoxy. The study concludes with an examination of pacifist epistemology and the debate between Radical Reformation thinking and Radical Orthodoxy.



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