When Layton Friesen was growing up as the son of an Evangelical Mennonite Conference pastoral couple in Manitoba’s Interlake Region and elsewhere, he was puzzled by how Anabaptists were mistreated in the sixteenth century. If, as he was told, the Anabaptist movement was the high point in the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century, why were Anabaptists opposed so bitterly? He suspected that he was not being told all of the story. At Regent College, while engaged in its Master of Theology program, he spent a year studying why Anabaptists were so opposed in much of Reformation Europe, and this book is the result. In studying the views of the opponents of Anabaptists, he was seeking to understand them, not to refute them nor to justify what happened to Anabaptists. Through the study, however, he began to understand Anabaptism better and to see how it presented challenges to society then; and he believes it can continue to challenge society today. This book will be of interest within Anabaptist and wider circles.
Layton Boyd Friesen, an ordained minister, is the conference pastor of the Evangelical Mennonite Conference, whose national office is in Steinbach, Man. Layton lives in Winnipeg with his wife Glenda and two young grown children. His studies have taken him to Steinbach Bible College (BRS), Regent College (MCS, ThM), and the University of St. Michael’s College, Toronto (PhD in systematic theology).