John Howard Yoder Dialogues on Nonviolence, Religion and Peace

by Michael O. Garvey

The University of Notre Dame has received a gift from Anne Marie Yoder, the widow of Notre Dame theology professor John Howard Yoder, to establish an endowed lectureship in her late husband’s memory.p. The lectureship, entitled the John Howard Yoder Dialogues on Nonviolence, Religion and Peace, will be administered by the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. According to Robert C. Johansen, acting director of the Kroc Institute, “We will be sponsoring lectures and activities that honor John’s work, particularly as expressed in two popular courses that he taught frequently for the institute—Religious Roots of Nonviolence and Voices of Nonviolence.”p. Yoder, who had taught at Notre Dame since 1968, died a year ago on Dec. 30 after suffering a heart attack in his Decio Hall office. He had celebrated his 70th birthday with his family the day before.p. A devout Mennonite who believed that nonviolence is an imperative for all Christians, Yoder resisted the notion that Christians should be assimilated into secular society and insisted that the Church is itself an entirely new society which embodies the forgiveness and self-sacrificing love of Jesus. His scholarship and teaching have profoundly influenced theological discussions about war, social justice, and the relationship between church and state. He is the author of several books, including “The Priestly Kingdom,” “What Would You Do?” and “The Politics of Jesus.”

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