The wide-ranging story of Mennonite migration, theological diversity, and interaction with other Christian streams is distilled in this engaging volume, which tracks the history of Ontario Mennonites.
Author Samuel J. Steiner writes that Ontario Mennonites and Amish are among the most diverse in the world—in their historical migrations and cultural roots, in their theological responses to the world around them, and in the various ways they have pursued their personal and communal salvation.
In Search of Promised Lands describes the emergence and evolution of today’s 30-plus streams of Ontarians who have identified themselves as Mennonite or Amish from their arrival in Canada to the last decade. In Search of Promised Lands also considers how various Mennonite groups have adapted to or resisted evangelical fundamentalism and mainline Protestantism, and it identifies the nineteenth- and twentieth-century shifts toward personal salvation and away from submission to the church community.
Volume 48 in the Studies in Anabaptist and Mennonite History series.
Find out more about Ontario Mennonite and Amish history at the author’s blog.
<p>“This long-needed and much-anticipated history of Mennonites in Ontario does not disappoint. Author Sam Steiner has undertaken meticulous research to offer a comprehensive narrative that balances the local and particular with broader contextual explanations for how the ‘startling diversity’ of Mennonites in Ontario today came to be. This grand survey will be the definitive reference work on the subject for years to come.”</p>Marlene Epp, professor of history, Reviews
<p>“This well-crafted and deeply researched book takes us into the richly textured past of Mennonite life in Ontario. Sam Steiner’s sweeping and authoritative new interpretation takes us through the centuries, from frontier Upper Canada to modern Ontario. Along the way we encounter hopeful migrations, emotional revivals, ‘horse and buggy’ protests, and a faith-driven response to wartime, city life, and pressing current issues. In the end we have an insightful portrayal of the profoundly changing face of one of the most complex and concentrated Mennonite communities in the world.”</p>Royden Loewen, chair in Mennonite studies and professor of history, Reviews
<p>“Samuel Steiner’s careful research, archival depth, breadth of coverage, thematic coherence, respectful candor, and useful summations make this book not only a treasury of Ontario Mennonite memory but a valuable companion to Mennonite history across North America.”</p>John L. Ruth, Reviews
<p>“This is a remarkable book! Encyclopedic in scope and traversing three centuries, <i>In Search of Promised Lands</i> provides a lively account of the astounding ecclesial and ethnic diversity among Mennonite and Amish groups in Ontario. Author Sam Steiner never flinches from the persistent theme of conflict and division. Yet he tells those stories generously, always attentive to the theological motifs, economic forces, renewal impulses, immigration patterns, cultural pressures, and the broader national context within which these tensions found expression. Though anchored firmly in the rich farmland and bustling towns of Ontario, this book is relevant the entire North American church—we all will find a part of our story here!”</p>John D. Roth, Reviews
<p>“Steiner’s own experience as a ‘draft dodger’ who finds refuge in Ontario parallels the experience of thousands of Mennonites who also sought this land of promise. His deep engagement as a church leader and his long career as an archivist uniquely qualify him to tell this story—panoramic in scope and encyclopedic in depth. With candor and sympathy, Steiner deftly narrates the amazingly complex and astonishingly diverse story of Ontario Mennonites, people he has claimed as his own.”</p>John E. Sharp, Reviews
<p>“Readers will be fascinated by the stories, previously untold, of men and women who composed significant Ontario families and communities. The well-written historical narrative is bolstered by analysis, including exploration of the variety of theological controversies and the impact of such social issues as race and gender that have contributed to the complexities of the Ontario story.”</p>Lucille Marr, Reviews