ABSTRACT

No study of Mennonites and political order would be complete without an examination of the ethical principle of non-resistance (Wehrlosigkeit). In the early modern era following the fall of the Anabaptist regime at Münster, the rejection of violence and the refusal to bear arms had been part of the constitution or ideological core of almost all Mennonite communities. 1 Today, non-resistance remains central to Mennonite self-definitions, but it has taken on the meaning of active 'peacemaking', 2 which early modern Mennonites would have found foreign and even absurd.