HUMANITAS


A CENTRE FOR ANABAPTIST THOUGHT

Humanitas Anabaptist-Mennonite Centre is the product of a partnership between the Mennonite Faith and Learning Society (MFLS) and Trinity Western University (TWU). The MFLS is a registered non-profit society that exists to promote Mennonite studies in higher education through establishing chairs and research centres at Canadian universities. The MFLS has partnered with TWU to establish this multi-disciplinary research centre focused on bringing an Anabaptist-Mennonite perspective to addressing today’s challenges and pressing issues and fostering research and teachings on Anabaptist-Mennonite history, practice, and values.

WHY HUMANITAS?

The word “humanitas” immediately conjures up images of the human community or what it means to be human. But it runs much deeper than this and encapsulates the mandate of our Centre and the unique role of Anabaptism in the larger Christian landscape and global community. Humanitas is a Latin noun with links to the Greek concepts of philanthropia, or the love of what makes us human, and paideia, or education. In this sense, the Centre exists as a forum for wrestling with many of today’s pressing issues and challenges related to a shared human existence and living in a human community from an Anabaptist-Mennonite perspective.

Many early Anabaptist leaders were trained in the studia humanitatis, the Humanist curriculum of the day that gradually replaced the medieval trivium and quadrivium of Scholasticism and elevated classical disciplines to guide their intellectual pilgrimage into what it means to be human. Early 16th-c. Anabaptism is also often characterized as neither Catholic nor Protestant (riffing off of Walter Klaassen’s classic study) and was heavily influenced by a number of movements, trends, and sources within Roman Catholicism. These include German Mysticism, Humanism, Benedictine monasticism, the Devotio Moderna, Brethren of the Common Life, various forms of asceticism, and the Church fathers, among others.

Adopting the name “Humanitas” signals that our Centre exists to engage the greater Christian tradition out of which Anabaptism developed as we continue to engage the wider Christian community today within which Anabaptism offers a unique and important voice.


OUR VISION

Humanitas Anabaptist-Mennonite Centre offers an Anabaptist perspective to many of today’s challenges and ongoing conversations. We aim to operate within a rigorous multi-disciplinary academic environment that is nevertheless accessible to the wider Mennonite and Christian community. To fulfill this objective, Humanitas sponsors on-campus and off-campus lectures and other public events, organizes conferences and symposiums, and promotes and disseminates scholarship in a number of research areas from an Anabaptist-Mennonite theological point of view.


OUR MISSION

Humanitas Anabaptist-Mennonite Centre seeks to fund important research projects and aims to establish a network of research fellows—including unfunded and funded, emerging and seasoned—that will integrate the unique combination of Anabaptist-Mennonite beliefs, practices, experiences, and perspectives to the questions that animate a variety of academic disciplines. As a Centre of Trinity Western University, Humanitas operates under the guiding principle that addressing the many challenges and questions that inspire meaningful dialogue and intellectual curiosity in a variety of scholarly fields requires credible resources and academic diligence expected of a top-tier University.


OUR TEAM

Myron Penner

Director

Myron Penner began working at TWU in 2005. He completed his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Purdue University in 2007. Myron's primary research areas are epistemology, metaphysics, and philosophy of religion but also has interests in philosophy of science and twentieth-century analytic philosophy.

Dorothy M. Peters

ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR

Dorothy is author of Daughters in the House of Jacob: A Memoir of Migration and Noah Traditions in the Dead Sea Scrolls . She is on faculty at TWU and ACTS Seminaries and holds a Ph.D. (Manchester), M.St. (Oxon), and M.A. (TWU). Dorothy’s research areas include the Dead Sea Scrolls, Old Testament and stories of Mennonite migration.

Angela Konrad

Artistic Director — Dark Glass Theatre

Angela is a an award-winning director, teacher, and dramaturge, who has been working in Vancouver theatre for more than 20 years. She holds an MFA in Directing from the University of Victoria and is Chair of the Theatre Department at TWU.