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Becoming Anabaptist: The Origin and Significance of Sixteenth-Century Anabaptism Paperback – September 22, 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Herald Pr; 2nd edition (September 22, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0836134346
  • ISBN-13: 978-0836134346
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #773,357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"J. Denny Weaver’s study is invaluable." -- Christianity Today<br /><br />"Weaver helps members of the Free Church in our task of becoming Anabaptist." --Brethren Life and Thought

From the Author

A second, revised, and expanded edition of Becoming Anabaptist is evidence that the first edition has garnered a certain amount of respect. A second, revised edition also indicates that the useful life of the first edition has ended. Conversations with colleagues who have used the book, whether in classroom teaching or in congregational settings, revealed significant interest in a new edition. I am grateful that Herald Press staff agreed with that assessment, and it has been a pleasure to work with Levi Miller in producing this edition.

The two editions of this book stand as bookends to my career. The first edition was my first book and came relatively early in my professional career. The second edition comes quite near the end of my teaching career. Much has happened in between. On the side of Anabaptist scholarship, there were a number of revisions and additions to the "polygenesis" school of thought, which shaped the first edition. The current edition has incorporated much from those efforts to go "beyond" polygenesis. The effort to move beyond polygenesis has also provoked a new debate about the significance and meaning of Anabaptism. I have not pursued that debate in the five chapters of the book, but interested readers may engage it in the interpretive essay in the appendix.

More About the Author

J. Denny Weaver is Professor Emeritus at Bluffton University where he taught for 31 years. He continues as editor of The C. Henry Smith Series. His most recent books include The Nonviolent God, The Nonviolent Atonement, 2nd edition, and the co-authored Defenseless Christianity: Anabaptism for a Nonviolent Church. His many articles and chapters in edited books as well as speaking engagements address a variety of topics related to nonviolence, violence in traditional theology, atonement theology, the character of God, violence in society, and Anabaptist history and theology. He has lectured in the United Kingdom, the Congo, and in Germany.

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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By E. Martin on June 14, 2003
Format: Paperback
Don't let the 176 pages fool you. This book is comprehensive survey concerning the origins of Anabaptism. Taking a "multiple origins" view of almost simultaneous origins in Switzerland and South Germany/Austria/Moravia and subseqent spread northward to Holland, Weaver presents a complex story with comendable economy.
In section 3 he survey anabaptist historiograpy, starting with the establishment view of "they're fanatics" of Calvin and Luther, to the "anabaptist vision" of Harold Bender, to the (then) latest research of Werner Packull, Klaus Deppermann, and James M. Stayer.
History writing often tells as much about the writer as it does the "story" and Anabaptist history is no exception! Along the Weaver raises some pertinent points about Anabaptist identity today!
Popularly written intellectual history doesn't get any better!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Klyne on August 3, 2014
Format: Paperback
(I read the first edition.) I thought I understood the early Anabaptist movement until I read this book, and in nearly every section there was a surprise. On a quest to find a church that I feel more connected to than my own, I came to this book, first, in hopes of finding some kind of This Is What It Means to be Anabaptist, and second, to get a brief history of how they got to be here today. That is not at all what this book is, yet I found myself connecting deeper and deeper to the radical reformation and its proponents. J. Denny Weaver does an excellent job of unfolding a story; it's definitely history without much fanfare, but the story he tells is so engaging it doesn't need thrills and frills. Granted, I lost track of a lot of the names and who's from which region, but the book is laid out in such a way that it would be easy to refresh my memory and cross-reference people and dates. The conclusion (what the movement means for us today) was a little anticlimactic in its delivery, but I appreciated the breakdown of the key points that define the derivative groups of the original movement. The book wasn't so much convincing (since it wasn't trying to make an argument or convert people) as it was affirming and edifying, and though I'm not Anabaptist, I'm on a journey to become so.
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