This article was originally published by The Mennonite

Goshen professor receives award for work on reconciliation between Lutherans and Mennonites

John Roth presents the Figel Lecture for Ecumenism at Virginia Theological Seminary, Alexandria, Virginia. Photo provided by Goshen College.

John D. Roth, professor of history at Goshen (Indiana) College and columnist on the global Anabaptist-Mennonite church for The Mennonite, received the Annual Ecumenism Award at a service Feb. 13 at Virginia Theological Seminary, Alexandria, Virginia. He received the award alongside Timothy Wengert, professor emeritus at United Lutheran Seminary in Philadelphia.

The award recognizes their work that led to the 2010 service of reconciliation in Stuttgart, Germany, between Lutheran World Federation and Mennonite World Conference, which produced the historic document “Healing of Memories: Reconciling in Christ.”

Roth also presented the Figel Lecture for Ecumenism, titled “Healing of Memory: Lessons for Church Unity from the Lutheran-Mennonite Dialogue.”

This annual address focuses on contemporary issues in ecumenism and is sponsored by the layman-ecumenist Jack Figel. It occurs in conjunction with the Prayer Service for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and includes the annual Ecumenism Award of the Consortium.

“For me this is a symbolic marker on a journey that I, along with the larger Mennonite Church, have been on for nearly 20 years,” Roth said.

The idea of healing memory, or as the dialogue promotes, “remembering rightly,” has had a major impact on many ecumenical dialogues that address histories of oppression, suffering and misunderstanding.

Roth also serves as director of the Mennonite Historical Library and editor of The Mennonite Quarterly Review. He has written  several books, including Beliefs: Mennonite Faith and PracticePractices: Mennonite Worship and WitnessStories: How Mennonites Came to Be, and Choosing Against War: A Christian View. He is director of the Institute for the Study of Global Anabaptism (ISGA), and a co-author with Conrad Kanagy and Elizabeth Miller of The Global Anabaptist Profile: Belief and Practice in 24 Mennonite World Conference Churches.

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