Young Center Holds Conference on Legacy of Alexander Mack, Jr.

The Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College is holding a conference June 6-8 titled, “Pietist and Anabaptist Intersections in Pennsylvania: The Life and Influence of Alexander Mack Jr.”

This study conference commemorates the 300th birthday of Mack, an important Brethren leader, minister, weaver, and writer of poetry, doctrinal, and devotional works. He was born in Germany, the son of Alexander Mack Sr.–founder of the Brethren movement–and then moved to the Netherlands and then to Pennsylvania, where he eventually became minister of the Germantown congregation.

“Scholars from multiple disciplines will use various methodologies to illumine Mack’s career and writings,” said the flier for the conference. “Some of the presentations will invite reflection on the lasting legacy of Mack in the Brethren context and beyond.”

Speakers include Dale R. Stoffer of Ashland Theological Seminary; Carl Desportes Bowman of the University of Virginia; Stephen Longenecker of Bridgwater (Va.) College; William Kostlevy of Tabor College; Hedda Durnbaugh of Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa.; Michael Showalter, museum curator of the Ephrata Cloister; Bethany Theological Seminary faculty Russell Haitch, Scott Holland, Denise Kettering Lane, and Daniel Ulrich; Frank Ramirez, pastor and frequent contributor Brethren Press publications and “Brethren Life & Thought”; Karen Garrett, business manager of “Brethren Life & Thought”; and Young Center director Jeff Bach, among others.

In addition, the preliminary agenda for the event includes preconference tours to Germantown and the Ephrata Cloisters, an evening hymn festival, and daily times of devotion. Those who attend the full conference are eligible for 1.85 continuing education units. Registration costs $120, or $135 after May 18. Student and single day rates are available. The tour and housing are additional costs. For more information and a registration form go to or call 717-361-1443.

As a special event during the weekend, Brethren Colleges Abroad (BCA) will celebrate its 50th anniversary, “BCA Study Abroad: 50 Years 1962-2012.” The anniversary dinner is June 8 immediately following the close of the conference, with speaker Robert Johansen, fellow at the Joan Kroc Institute of Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. BCA also will honor its longest serving president, Allen Deeter. Cost is $30. BCA is a cooperative organization begun by the Church of the Brethren-related colleges, currently sending nearly 400 students to study in 15 countries around the world and bringing international students to study at BCA partner colleges in the US.

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