Churches Engage Asian Traditions: A Global Mennonite History

Article excerpt

Churches Engage Asian Traditions: A Global Mennonite History. Edited by John A. Lapp and C. Arnold Snyder. Intercourse, Pa.: Good BooL·; Kitchener, Ont. : Pandora Press, 2011. Pp. 376. Paperback $11.95.

This is a well-presented and carefully documented history of the establishing and growth of Mennonite churches in Asia. Primarily covering Indonesia, India, Chinese-speaking communities, Philippines, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam, it includes an excellent introduction to the cultural and religious background of the continent and an equally reflective conclusion on the mission of the church and its prospects and problems, both of which engage with the context. The substantive chapters on each region are written by a local leader, and each in varying ways gives the cultural background and then details which church was set up when and by whom, who ran each school, and what has been achieved. It is copiously illustrated with photographs, a number of which show Christians of many backgrounds and occupations, rather more showing church plants. The book is easy to use for information about the Asian history of this family of churches, adding much to the understanding of the Mennonite experience and expansion in Asia.

It seems churlish to complain about a nice book, but using "engage Asian traditions" in the title, yet failing to do that to any depth, other than in the excellent book-ends, does rather ask for comment. …