TWU Hosts Renowned Mennonite Author
TWU’s Anabaptist-Mennonite Centre for Faith and Learning (A-MCFL) presents an evening with award-winning Canadian and Mennonite author Rudy Wiebe. Faith and Death: an Evening with Rudy Wiebe, will be held Tuesday March 3, and will engage themes of faith, death, and writing.
“The public lecture continues our connection to our constituency,” said Myron A. Penner, Ph.D., Director of the A-MCFL and Associate Professor of Philosophy. “It brings people to campus and demonstrates that TWU is a place where issues and ideas are explored with excellence.”
The lecture is connected to Wiebe’s latest novel, Come Back, a story in which the protagonist processes the death of his son, who committed suicide decades earlier. That struggle is one Wiebe knows intimately; his own son committed suicide.
In his first novel, Peace Shall Destroy Many, which was published in 1962, Wiebe pulled back the curtain on Mennonite life and culture. “Back then, Rudy was seen as an activist and a renegade, and was ostracized in certain circles,” said Penner. “Really, he was just using literature as a way to be a prophetic voice to the community.”
While at TWU, Wiebe will also visit with students in several English classes, and with the editors of [SPACES], TWU’s literary journal. “This exposes our students to giants in their field,” said Penner. “They have the opportunity to interact with someone who has a lot of wisdom, is gifted in an field that they might want to pursue, and who has an interesting perspective on what it means to integrate faith and writing.”
Launched in October 2014, the A-MCFL is TWU’s first university-based research centre for the study of the integration of faith and learning from an Anabaptist-Mennonite perspective. The Centre promotes Anabaptist-Mennonite research, publication, and dissemination, which will broadly enrich theological awareness and application at Trinity Western and beyond. Its mandate is to inject the Anabaptist-Mennonite voice into the integration of faith and learning.
“The Centre embraces the voices—in the arts, sciences, or literature—that help us interpret and articulate the Anabaptist-Mennonite perspective, as well as what it means to integrate all of our experiences into a coherent faith journey,” Penner said. “Where else but at a Christian university can these kinds of conversations take place?”
Rudy Wiebe won the Governor General’s Award for Fiction twice, for The Temptations of Big Bear (1973) and A Discovery of Strangers (1994). He was awarded the Royal Society of Canada’s Lorne Pierce Medal in 1986. In 2000, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 2003, Wiebe was a member of the jury for the Giller Prize.
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