This course considers the movement of the Brethren from a sectarian group in colonial America towards a more “mainstream” model of Christianity in the 21st century. Brethren have had a mixed relationship to society and social issues from the very beginning of the tradition, as they have sought to be faithful to the New Testament. The struggle between being a set-apart people and accommodating broader cultural and social tendencies will provide a helpful lens for understanding how Brethren have related and continue to relate to a variety of issues, including missionary work, slavery, the temperance movement, women’s rights, publication, and secret societies. The course will also consider how Brethren perspectives on some issues have remained constant, while others have changed dramatically.
- Teacher: Denise Kettering