Life of ‘Menno Simons’ dissected in in-depth study

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Abraham Friesen releases study of intellectual, theological development of Dutch reformer

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FRESNO, Calif. – Abraham Friesen presents an in-depth study of the life and legacy of Dutch reformer “Menno Simons” (published by Xlibris) and explains why he is a man with bad press in his new book. Readers will witness how the narrative deconstructs all the major theories relating to Menno's intellectual biography, and secondly it, for the first time sets Menno squarely into the context of the larger Reformation movement, establishing concrete connections to Luther's early writings and the biblical scholarship of Erasmus.

This study consists of three parts: Part I provides the larger background to the problem of religious reform in the 16th century based on the little-known 1523 Nuremberg Imperial Edict; Part II then deals with the more immediate context of Menno's reform activity — the revolutionary events culminating in the "Anabaptist" takeover of the Westphalian city of Muenster in 1534-35; and Part III traces the intellectual/theological roots of Meno's thought back to the writings of Martin Luther and Dersiderius Erasmus, and the intervention of the Holy Spirit in his conversion. It is from this perspective, then, that the other chapters of Part III deal with the most important topics of Menno's intellectual biography.

“The first thing I want readers to take away from the book is the baneful effects upon the Christian religion of political intervention in purely religious matters,” Friesen says. “Secondly, that remaining true to the teachings of Christ can very easily lead to persecution. And, lastly, that speculation about the end of the age (apocalypticism) can be a very dangerous game as the 16th century demonstrates, especially when based upon a faulty interpretation of key passages of Scripture, in our case, Augustine’s misinterpretation of the Parable of the Tares.”

“Menno Simons”
By Abraham Friesen
Hardcover | 6 x 9in | 446 pages | ISBN 9781503562813
Softcover | 6 x 9in | 446 pages | ISBN 9781503562820
E-Book | 446 pages | ISBN 9781503562837
Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author
Abraham Friesern was born in Winnipeg, Canada, on December 20, 1933, to Dutch Mennonite parents who had migrated from Siberia, Russia, in 1926. One of 11 children, he grew up on a farm near the town of LaSalle, Manitoba, and attended a one-room country school for his first four grades, moving to a “consolidated” school of four rooms in Oak Bluff, Manitoba, for the next four grades. His high school years were spent in the city of Winnipeg at a private school. He received his university training at the University of Manitoba (BA ’58 and MA ’62), the University of Göttingen (1957–58), Stanford University (Ph.D. ’67) and the Institute for European History in Mainz, Germany (’65 to ’67). From 1960 to 1963 Friesen taught at a private high school in Winnipeg, and in the summer of 1967, he was appointed Assistant Professor of Renaissance and Reformation History at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He remained there for the entire 37 years of his teaching career, retiring in 2004. Together with his wife, Gerry, he now lives in Fresno.

Xlibris Publishing, an Author Solutions, LLC imprint, is a self-publishing services provider created in 1997 by authors, for authors. By focusing on the needs of creative writers and artists and adopting the latest print-on-demand publishing technology and strategies, we provide expert publishing services with direct and personal access to quality publication in hardcover, trade paperback, custom leather-bound and full-color formats. To date, Xlibris has helped to publish more than 60,000 titles. For more information, visit or call 1-888-795-4274 to receive a free publishing guide. Follow us @XlibrisPub on Twitter for the latest news.

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