John Howard Yoder (1927–1997), professor of theology and ethics, was widely respected for his work on Christian pacifism, ecclesiology, and ethics. After leading relief and revival efforts in Europe after World War II, Yoder began teaching at both Goshen Biblical Seminary and Mennonite Biblical Seminary, where his ideas on Christian pacifism made an indelible mark on his students. His influential works stirred up a whole new discourse in Christian political involvement.
This collection offers insight into Yoder’s thought, providing translations of the books that most deeply influenced his views on Christianity, pacifism, and war, as well as clear arguments for politically-active, peace-focused belief. Yoder’s own well-known titles, including What Would You Do? and A Declaration of Peace, reflect this eminent theologian’s stance on morality and ethics and open up the conversation for readers to explore.
Now, with this powerful 12-volume collection, you can study Yoder’s works more closely than ever before. With Logos Bible Software, Yoder’s works are completely searchable, Scripture references, just a click away, link to your favorite translation and to the original-language texts, and every word ties in to the rest of your digital library, opening up Yoder’s thought like never before. Yoder’s challenging and life-changing messages, sure to enrich your Bible study, will be a valuable addition to your study of pacifism, the church, or ethics.
With the Logos edition of the John Howard Yoder Collection, these powerful reference tools automatically integrate with your Logos library, allowing you to cross-reference them and study these relevant issues like never before. Pull up Yoder’s works with other great theologians like Dietrich Bonhoeffer to compare what they have to say about the theology of peace and war. Instantly link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and other relevant texts to decipher difficult words. Perform powerful searches with the Topic Guide to gather all the related materials in your library. Use Logos Mobile apps to take the conversation with you. With Logos Bible Software, the most comprehensive study tools are a click or touch away, helping you maximize your studies and get the most out of your time.
Binding and loosing, baptism, Eucharist, multiplicity of gifts, and open meeting—these five New Testament practices were central in the life of the early Christian community and some of them are still echoed in church practices today. But the full social, ethical, and communal meaning of the original practices has often been covered by centuries of ritual and interpretation. John Howard Yoder reveals the original meaning of the five practices and shows why the recovery of these practices is so important for the modern church’s social, economic, and political witness.
A crucial advance in recent philosophy and theology is (re)discovery of the fact that we do not know what our words mean if we do not know how to put them into practice. Yoder’s Body Politics embodies this understanding of the intimate dialectic of thought and life, doctrine and liturgical practice.
—Nancy Murphy, professor of Christian philosophy, school of theology, Fuller Theological Seminary
If the church’s ‘internal’ life is a precursor to the future of the world, then Yoder’s Body Politics sheds new light on the role and mission of the church in the world. Perhaps more importantly, it then also sheds new light on the future role of the world in the church.
—Robert J. Suderman, Mennonite Church Canada
At the center of all John Howard Yoder’s thought is scriptural witness, and at the center of scriptural witness is Christ, the one who “came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near” (Eph. 2:17). This collection of short, accessible studies of key biblical texts provides a wonderful point of entry into Yoder’s more difficult theological writings; it can also serve as a guide for a small group Bible study on the theme of Christian peaceableness.
What is especially attractive about this collection is its homiletic style, and therefore its greater appeal to readers with little theological background than some of Yoder’s more technical works.
—Gayle Gerber Koontz, professor of theology and ethics, Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary
Here, helpfully gathered together into a single volume, is the rich harvest of John Howard Yoder’s lifelong probing of scripture. This book is an invaluable resource for all of us who prayerfully wrestle with the inspired text, attempting to fathom and flesh out what it teaches concerning that multifaceted peace which reflects the God of peace incarnate in the Prince of Peace.
—Vernon Grounds, late chancellor of Denver Seminary
Between 1971 and 1996 the late John Howard Yoder wrote a series of 10 essays “revisiting” the Jewish-Christian schism. He argued that, properly understood, Jesus did not reject Judaism; Judaism did not reject Jesus; and the Apostle Paul’s universal mandate for the salvation of the nations is best understood not as a product of Hellenization, but rather in the context of his Jewish heritage.
This posthumous collection of essays is arguably his most ambitious project and displays Yoder’s original thesis that the Jewish-Christian schism “did not have to be.”
[This] book is appropriate for any advanced course on Jewish-Christian dialogue, or a seminar on Yoder’s thought. I recommend this book for its content and mood.
—Brett Dewey, Baylor University
The Jewish-Christian Schism Revisited is a welcome and engaging contribution to Judeo/Christian Religious Studies collections and supplemental reading lists.
—Midwest Book Review
John Howard Yoder’s classic book, first published in 1971, includes a treatment of Jewish pacifism. Yoder points out each pacifist position’s assumptions, strengths, and shortcomings, bringing clarity to the many-sided conversations about peace, nonviolence, war, proliferation of arms, and power politics. And, in three in-depth appendixes—“Speaking Truth to Power: Quaker Political Witness;” “The Spectrum of Nonpacifist Postures;” and “Nonviolent National Defense Alternatives”—Yoder continues the exposition of his worldview, further inviting open conversation.
Yoder’s Nevertheless has served me well as a reminder of the diverse forms religious pacifism has taken and as an insightful critical exploration of what makes each kind of pacifism distinctive. These differences are not simply taxonomical; not recognizing them often causes misunderstanding and misrepresentation. This new edition . . . is a worthy new rendering of an old standard.
—James T. Johnson, distinguished professor of religious ethics, Rutgers
Jesus created a voluntary society around himself that was contrary to everything Jewish society knew or expected. He gave his members a new way to deal with offenders, violence, money, leadership, and a corrupt society. He gave them a new pattern of relationships between man and woman, and an enlarged understanding of what it means to be human.
This is the original revolution: the creation of a distinct community with an alternate set of values and a coherent way of incarnating them. Such a group is not only a novelty—it’s also, if lived faithfully, the most powerful tool of social change.
John Howard Yoder simply cannot be understood without reading the essays collected in The Original Revolution. Yoder would obviously go on to have much to say, but everything he had to say was initially intimated in this extremely important book. Indeed, Chapter Three (which was originally entitled “Peace Without Eschatology?”) may well be the most important single essay Yoder ever wrote. We are in debt to Herald Press for keeping this important book in print.
—Stanley Hauerwas, Gilbert T. Rowe Professor Emeritus of Divinity and Law, Duke University
Yoder’s essays on Christian pacifism represent the tradition of the Mennonite churches and this volume presents them in a compelling way. It is well worth the money.
—Journal of Psychology and Christianity
“We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers . . . against spiritual wickedness in high places.” —Ephesians 6:12
This small but important book by Hendrik Berkhof, which ushered in a wave of studies on “the powers” spoken of in the New Testament, profoundly influenced William Stringfellow, Jacques Ellul, Marva Dawn, Walter Wink, and many others. John Howard Yoder brought it to an English-speaking audience for the first time in this translation, drawing from it in his own famous work, The Politics of Jesus.
This is a powerful study. In brief compass it illuminates some of the darker recesses of biblical language—and shows how important the ideas there are for an understanding of the world as we know it.
—Alan Kreider, retired professor of church history and mission, Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary
“Our purpose is to analyze whether it is truly the case that a Christian pacifist position rooted not in pragmatic or psychological but in Christological considerations is thereby irrelevant to the social order.” —John Howard Yoder
These words by John Howard Yoder set the course of his pathbreaking treatise, The Christian Witness to the State. Yoder’s novel contribution to the debate concerning the church’s and the Christian’s calling is his starting point. He insists that Christ, through his death and resurrection, is now exercising dominion over the world. God has reclaimed his intention for creation. Thus the structures of the social order have as much potential for good as for evil. The church belongs in this world; it has a mission to, and even with, society.
The Christian Witness to the State is a model of reflection on the social mission of the church from the vantage point of a peace church ecclesiology. We owe John Howard Yoder a debt for leading us through the invaluable exercise of writing from the riches of one’s own tradition yet possessing the freedom to correct it out of the shared resources of the whole body of Christ.
—John Rempel, Mennonite Central Committee liaison to the United Nations
This book is now a crucial resource for all Christians who seek to live faithful to the politics of Jesus.
—Stanley Hauerwas, Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics, Duke University
John Howard Yoder went to Europe after World War II as a young volunteer. He worked as an aide in a children’s home in Alsace, France, and completed his doctorate under Karl Barth in Basel, Switzerland. Because of his incomparably clear and sharp thinking, he quickly became one of the most sought-after seminar speakers on pacifism as he worked toward an Anabaptist renewal of the church.
In this context, Yoder succeeded in reopening the theological debate on the political responsibility of Christians and of the church—a debate to which persecution had put an end 400 years earlier. Biblical scholar Timothy J. Geddert translated two of these lectures, originally given in Germany, to help seekers understand Yoder’s invitation to begin an exploratory journey that leads to Jesus Christ’s peace church.
Those familiar with Yoder will know that his writing is quite remarkable, expressing complex ideas in an accessible and logically clear way. His arguments thoroughly engage with the biblical text, center on the cross, and make substantial claims concerning the Christian commitment to nonviolence that are anything but romantic. In addition, it is most refreshing to read, and perhaps most startling to grasp, Yoder’s outright claim that the Christian is a political person. Discipleship to Jesus requires participation in a community that presents a radical alternative to the world, most notably in its commitment to the way of Jesus’s cross.
—Benjamin A. Simpson, author, Commitment to Christ: 40 Devotions for a Generous Life
This collection of 17 essays on ecclesiological and ecumenical themes is intended to demonstrate the substantial unity of Yoder’s work over the past four decades. Readers will discover that it is not possible to disengage John Howard Yoder’s practice of ecumenical dialogue from his vision of the church. Yoder’s approach to ecumenical dialogue correlates with his conception of the faithfulness of the church. His vision of the church poses challenges for Christians of all communions because he calls both for disciplined dialogue and for faithful servanthood that renders the confession of Jesus Christ’s lordship meaningful.
This volume is vintage Yoder, leaving no doubt why he is universally regarded as one of the most powerful, provocative, and unsettling authors in his field today. No one interested in Christian social ethics can afford to overlook this splendid collection of essays.
—George Hunsinger, Center of Theological Inquiry, Princeton
Yoder carries a vision of the church catholic that stands as a witness in and to a church on the road toward a full communion, yet a witness that calls for reform at the deepest level for all Christians—Protestant, Orthodox, and Roman Catholic. His is an unsettling but unavoidable voice in the ecumenical conversation.
—Jeffrey Gros, Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, National Conference of Catholic Bishops
In the historic meeting held in 1527 in Schleitheim, Switzerland, an ad hoc group of Anabaptists worked through fundamental disagreements and emerged with a consensus on seven points of faith that became known as the Schleitheim Confession. This edition, translated and edited by John Howard Yoder, includes an introduction by Leonard Gross.
The recovery of The Anabaptist Vision in the 20th century has refocused attention on the significance of The Schleitheim Confession (1527), the oldest Anabaptist confession.
—Howard John Loewen, dean of the school of theology and professor of theology and ethics, Fuller Theological Seminary
The Schleitheim Confession became a powerful testimony that peace as a way of life is the only option for those attempting to live faithfully as a people of God.
John Howard Yoder helps answer the age-old question, “What would you do if someone was attacking your grandmother, husband, wife, daughter, or son?” Yoder provides a variety of responses to this classic question, his own thorough ethical analysis, and answers given by other writers such as Leo Tolstoy, Dale Brown, and Dale Aukerman. Augmenting, and at times contradicting, his views are a collection of real-life stories from people who have discovered alternative responses to violence.
Anyone who is at all interested in nonviolence will find Yoder’s insights helpful in sharpening her or his thinking. Others who might ask the question with the intention of trapping pacifists will be given pause and forced to think twice. Christian pacifists and others exploring nonviolence will long be indebted to John Howard Yoder for this important contribution.
—The Christian Century
Many Christians are becoming increasingly sensitive to the destructiveness of war. They are recognizing war’s limited ability as a public policy instrument. They are acknowledging the social, economic, and spiritual consequences of preparing to wage war. These concerns have begun to revive the conscience of the church in new ways.
This text contends that peacemaking is essential to Christian discipleship. It is the vocation of the church as a whole. Moving beyond the traditional debate around “pacifism,” this statement seeks dialogue concerning a renewed vision of the entire purpose of God in the world.
In A Declaration on Peace, Brethren, Friends, Mennonites, and the Fellowship of Reconciliation seek conversation with Christians everywhere on peace, war, militarism, and justice. The book offers an ecumenical dialogue on the morality of war, grounded in a biblical vision common to all Christian communions.
John Howard Yoder (1927–1997) taught ethics and theology at Notre Dame University and Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary. He received his doctorate from the University of Basel, Switzerland, and was a member of the Mennonite Church in Elkhart, Indian and may best be known for writing The Politics of Jesus.