4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
Separation from the World by Ronald C. Jantz is an enlightening discussion of the conservative Mennonites’ history, core beliefs that have set them apart from the rest of the world and their key historical figures. At the beginning of the 16th Century, the conservative Mennonites community was born. The group derived its name from its leader, Menno Simons, who had abandoned his Catholic faith and joined the Dutch Anabaptists. The Mennonites were to face a lot of persecution across Europe especially for their belief in non-resistance. Other key pillars of the movement are non-conformity and adult baptism.
A wonderful feature of the book that I appreciated is the effort that has been put into researching the Mennonites’ history which includes their way of dealing with oppression. Their unique ways sparked controversy with different rulers in Europe which resulted in persecution. They left Holland for Prussia due to growing intolerance. During the reign of Frederick William II, they were forced to move to Russia following oppressive regulations. In Russia, forced military service made many Mennonites leave the region for the United States and Canada. Those who remained faced Stalin’s persecution.
The author goes further to provide a bibliography after each chapter that provides a list of his sources which can be used for further research. In the latter part of the book, the author also traces the Mennonites’ lineage all the way from the 16th Century and in addition, he discusses modern day challenges that the group faces.
I also appreciated the inclusion of maps, photos, paintings and drawings which represent the information contained. These were a useful addition as they helped me understand the content better. They also clarified the details within the book.
I did not like that the book is organized by topic and not by a chronological order which made reading and grasping facts harder. The book is also repetitive in some places.
In terms of grammar, Separation from the World by Ronald C. Jantz contains close to no errors. I only identified one. Overall, it is an informative read as it shines light into the fortitude of a people who have held on to their beliefs for over four hundred years. It will prove to be a wonderful book for readers interested in historical accounts especially those pertaining to religion. Readers who are not fans of historical accounts may not enjoy this book. I rate it 4 out of 4 stars.
Separation from the World
View: on Bookshelves
Like EmunahAn's review? Post a comment saying so!