The Centre for Anabaptist Studies 2017 Annual Lecture

‘A Peace Witness under Pressure: The Bruderhof Community in England, 1936-1942’

Dr Ian Randall explores the experiences of the Bruderhof, a Christian community which began in Germany in 1920 and which had to escape from the country in the 1930s because of Nazi pressure. By this time the community was an explicitly Anabaptist one, inspired by the early Hutterites. At first, the community members were welcomed in England and their community, established in the Cotswolds, grew substantially. They were part of wider peace and community endeavours of the time. Significant numbers of British people joined the Bruderhof. But, with the start of the Second World War, the German members came to be regarded with suspicion, and British members were unpopular in the local area because they were pacifists. The result of these pressures was that by 1942 over 300 community members had left England to try to forge a new life in South America. This period of Bruderhof life shows Anabaptist convictions being worked out in England during a time of great political uncertainty.

 

 randall After training for ministry at Regent’s Park College, Oxford, Ian had two local church pastorates, and then lectured and supervised research for nearly twenty years at Spurgeon’s College, London, and the International Baptist Theological Seminary, Prague.

In recent years, he and his wife have lived in Cambridge, where Ian has been a hospital chaplain, a minister in an ecumenical missional church, and a research associate of the Cambridge Centre for Christianity Worldwide.

He has written extensively in the areas of renewal, mission and Baptist and Anabaptist history.

The annual lecture will take place at Bristol Baptist College (The Promenade, Clifton Down BS8 3NJ) at 7.30pm on Tuesday 21 November. This event is free and no booking is required – unless you want to join us for a sandwich meal at 6.30pm, which does need to be booked and for which we’d request a £3.50 donation

Recordings of previous annual lectures are available on request. The Centre also offers an MA course, available via taught block weeks in Bristol or online, and postgraduate research degrees.

For further information about any aspect of the Centre please contact Stuart Murray Williams at the above address or email anabaptist@bristol-baptist.ac.uk

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