A number of persons have asked what the goals are for the blog, what is the organizing concept behind the essays? Etc.
Somewhat embarrassingly, there is no ultimate agenda. The majority of the essays are merely thoughts and conversations that have occurred while researching other projects, performing school work or drafting papers, discussion group topics and presentations. Unless otherwise indicated, the essays do not represent any actual papers, themselves. That is part of the reason that so many of the essays contain phrases such as “it occurs to me,” “is it possible?” “potential … “. It is also the reason there are so many questions openly asked in the writing and the mentioning of source materials.
Regrettably, we simply do not have time to winnow everything down and do a lot of editing. This is not a commercially feasible hobby or use of time. ; )
On the other hand, it is a great way to review older information, to look for possible connections between disparate sources and find new perspectives.
As a result, you might have noticed a certain focus on sociological themes and trying to identify an Anabaptist perspective or take on different thinkers and writers. For instance, I, for instance, am presently trying to tease out a Postmodern apologetic for Anabaptist culture (as opposed to religion).
Finally, there is a certain focus on news items and events – basically, these are either items to raise in discussion or a mental exercise to find a Postmodern perspective in Mennonite news or a Postmodern application within Anabaptist culture.
What is the value of the blog? Largely personal, I would suppose, however, the blog does consistently maintain four general themes that are useful to the community: a/ the historic unity of the Mennonite diaspora – including the unity of the Russian Mennonite – Old Mennonite – Amish – Hutterite continuum and the international perspective that has traditionally united Mennonites within the diaspora without regard to international borders. b/ the p.o.v. is that of the traditional Russian Mennonites – one that has been greatly reduced in contemporary American culture. c/ Exploration of a relatively ignored transition of the Mennonite diaspora from the Pre-Modern and Modern ethnic identities to the Postmodern. d/ The conversation centers around a cultural rather than religious perspective, while trying to maintain an inclusive perspective.
More than that … input and comments are welcome and appreciated. We have even included a few essays written by other persons.
Thanks. Hope this serves as to answer a few general queries.