Manitoba Mennonite Historical Society

The Manitoba Mennonite Historical Society aims at fostering an understanding of and respect for the history and beliefs of the Mennonite people.

 There is a special posting of the Bartsch letters written in the 1780s. These are contained in a paper presented at the symposium on 15 November 2014. Check for the link under 'Reports'.



Dr. Harry Loewen: 1930-2015.


The first Chair in Mennonite Studies, Dr. Harry Loewen, (Professor Emeritus) died yesterday afternoon, September 16, in Kelowna, British Columbia, after a lengthy struggle with cancer.  Born in 1930 in the Soviet Union,  Loewen came to Canada as a refugee after the Second World War and led a life of service and scholarship until his death.  He served the University of Winnipeg as Professor of History and inaugural holder of the Chair in Mennonite Studies from 1978-1996.  He was a founding editor of the Journal of Mennonite Studies, organized annual symposia in the field, and lectured at educational institutions throughout North and South America as well as in Europe during his distinguished academic career.  An accomplished scholar of German, Russian, and Mennonite literature and history, Loewen authored and edited fourteen books, the last of which, a lengthy study of Martin Luther, he completed during the course of his illness.  That study was published by WLU Press earlier this year and launched at an event at Mosaic Books in Kelowna.  A memorial service is planned for the First Mennonite Church in Kelowna in October 9, 10 am.  Dr. Loewen leaves behind many friends and colleagues, past and present, at The University of Winnipeg.

Reflection by Royden Loewen, Chair in Mennonite Studies, University of Winnipeg

Harry Loewen (1930-2015), the founding Chair in Mennonite Studies, author of numerous books, a beloved colleague to many of us, and a loving husband to Gertrude and father and grandfather will be missed.  Harry accomplished a great deal in his life, but more importantly he was an inspiration to many young scholars, as teacher, publisher and writer for many decades.  His ability to reach both popular and academic audiences has been remarkable. He has written on a wide range of topics, including comparing 16th Century Anabaptism and Lutheranism, early 20th century work on Mennonites in the Soviet Union, and his own story of coming to Canada with his widowed mother.  He also addressed more contemporary topics such as Mennonite literature, and Mennonite identity with his collection, 'Why I am a Mennonite.'  Harry has shown a commitment to scholarship in many other ways: as the founding Chair in Mennonite Studies (1978-1995) he pioneered the idea of teaching Mennonite history in public spaces and as the founding editor of the Journal of Mennonite Studies (1983-1995) he also pioneered a platform for Mennonite scholars in Canada to engage in valuable academic discourse.  Harry has always been a friendly and engaging scholar.  Perhaps most importantly, he has always been an inspiration to the generation that followed him.