Peter Riedemann: Shaper of the Hutterite Tradition, by Werner O. Packull
2007. 252 pp. ISBN: 978-1894710763
"Werner Packull is one of the world’s most outstanding scholars on the history of the Hutterian Brethren. In this book he traces the life and writing of Peter Riedemann, the second-most important Hutterite leader after Jakob Hutter himself. This book describes Riedemann’s role in reanimating the Hutterite movement after the great persecution of 1535-36, which led to the martydom of Jakob Hutter. Packull concentrates on the enduring legacy of Riedemann’s writings: above all, on the great Rechenschaft, the purposes of its composition and the theological meanings of its various parts."
-James Stayer, Professor Emeritus of History, Queen’s University
"In this book Werner Packull makes masterful use of existing records to present a definitive biographical account of Riedemann’s eventful life as a long-term prisoner of conscience, Anabaptist, and Hutterian community leader. In the second part of the study, Packull analyzes Riedemann’s literary legacy, providing readers with insight into Riedemann’s creative
appropriation of the Anabaptist tradition."
- C. Arnold Snyder, Professor Emeritus of History, Conrad Grebel University College
"This book is a fitting sequel to Werner Packull’s Hutterite Beginnings, continuing the story by focusing on Peter Riedemann. The whole betrays Packull’s expertise in providing solid contextualization, and the end effect is a new and deeper understanding of early second-generation Hutterianism. In this way, the volume connects to the Golden Years of the Hutterites, and anticipates Astrid von Schlachta’s excellent monograph on late second-generation and third-generation Hutterianism, Hutterische Konfession und Tradition (1578-1619), when Hutterian institutionalism came into its own."
- Leonard Gross, Historian and Former Executive Secretary of the Historical Committee of the Mennonite Church
"In Peter Riedemann: Shaper of the Hutterite Tradition, Werner Packull continues his profound work on Hutterite history. Continuity with Hutterite Beginnings (1995) is evident not only in the basic themes and approach to the subject, but also in Packull's updating of basic scholarship on the various epochs of Hutterite history. His biography of Riedemann paints a colorful and illustrative picture of the life of communal Anabaptists who found a haven in Moravia and offers a detailed model for classifying and assessing Hutterite life in the second generation."
- Astrid von Schlachta, in the Mennonite Quarterly Review
Werner O. Packull (1941-2018) was Professor of History at Conrad Grebel University College, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.