Philosophical Reflections on Twentieth-Century Mennonite Thought
There is a sense in which one might reasonably query the possibility of the task suggested by the title of this chapter. One might justifiably argue, that is, that there is really no substantial body of thought both characteristically Mennonite and characteristically of the twentieth century upon which reflective attention might be focused. This is not to say that the intellectual is non-existent in the Mennonite community, for Mennonite artists, writers, musicians and various kinds of ‘academics’abound. Nevertheless, it is extremely difficult to find ‘the thinker’in contemporary Anabaptist/Mennonite circles. There are few Mennonite theologians with originality and flair and even fewer, if any, Mennonite philosophers. The Mennonite Encyclopedia, interestingly, boasts not a single entry under ‘philosophy’; and theology, according to the Encyclopedia, seems to emerge only under the stimulus of an unacceptable ‘liberal influence’ .1 My concern in this essay, however, is not with an examination of any particular expressions of the twentieth century Mennonite mind but rather with the impoverished state of that mind.
KeywordsCritical Thought Christian Faith Intellectual Inquiry Impoverished State Rationalist Stance
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