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Mennonites, Politics, and Peoplehood: 1525 to 1980 Paperback – Feb 15 2006

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: University of Manitoba Press (Feb. 15 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0887556884
  • ISBN-13: 978-0887556883
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 599 g
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  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #582,585 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“For some years now, the anthropologist James Urry has been regarded, in Harry Loewen’s words in the foreword to this volume, as ‘one of the most knowledgeable historians of the Russian Mennonites today.’ Urry further cements his reputation here. In Mennonites, Politics, and Peoplehood, he has pieced together a thoughtful, well organized and immensely detailed survey of the political attitudes and practices of this important Mennonite group, from their origins in early Anabaptism to their rapidly acculturating communities in contemporary Canada.” (The Mennonite Quarterly Review)

“James Urry’s new book is historical social anthropology at its best.” (Gerhard Remple American Review of Canadian Studies, Winter 2006)

About the Author

James Urry is a Reader in Anthropology at New Zealand’s Victoria University of Wellington. He is the author of None but Saints: The Transformation of Mennonite Life in Russia.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x98b8200c) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
HASH(0x98b9257c) out of 5 stars History of Mennonite involvement in politics May 12 2012
By Steve Fast - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
James Urry provides us with a fascinating look at Mennonite involvement in politics. His focus is on the Mennonites in the Netherlands, northern Germany, Poland/Prussia, Russia, and Canada from their origin in the 1500s to the latter part of the 20th century.

He relates their involvement in politics and their changing attitudes about politics to the political system in which they lived (fractured principalities, city burghers, authoritarian regimes, democracies). He discusses the important role of privilegia in early modern Europe and why their importance died out. He talks about how Mennonites, with some limited success, worked with the early Soviet government, until Soviet anti-religious hatred overwhelmed their desire for using the Mennonites skills to rebuild Russia. The discussion of their involvement in Canadian politics is especially interesting because the more conservative Mennonites left Russia to move to Canada, yet within 50 years, they were not only voting but also running for office.

The story and the writing are not as sweeping or compelling as his magisterial None but Saints, but it is an interesting book none the less. It will show you how Mennonites have tried (and struggled at times) to apply Biblical principles and their beliefs to a changing world. There have been different answers over time and in different host countries and cultures.
HASH(0x98fd3f30) out of 5 stars An extensive and scholarly study of the Mennonite people and their role in history and politics May 6 2006
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
Format: Paperback
Mennonites, Politics, And Peoplehood: Europe--Russia--Canada: 1525 to 1980 by James Urry (Reader in Anthropology at New Zealand's Victoria University of Wellington) is an extensive and scholarly study of the Mennonite people and their role in history and politics. Containing previously unscripted events and facts, Mennonites, Politics, And Peoplehood reveals the activism of the Mennonites throughout history and spanning both western and eastern Europe; their migrations to North America; as well as their links between kingdoms, empires, republics, and democratic nations in the context of peace, war, and revolution. Mennonites, Politics, And Peoplehood is very highly recommended reading, both for its scholarly research and its profusely documented contribution an appreciation of the historical political activism and social involvement of the Mennonites.