Date of Award


Document Type



Psychology, Criminal Justice and Sociology


Restorative justice” is an increasingly common idea used internationally today. Many of the modern movement’s founders and key participants hail from the Mennonite faith tradition. This is not coincidental; from its inception, Mennonite theology and ideology have pointed in the direction of peace and reconciliation within communities, values which almost perfectly mirror the priorities of the restorative justice movement. This paper delves into the annals of Mennonite history, exploring the origins of Anabaptism, of which Mennonites are a branch. It unfolds catalytic events and foundational theology which guided the revolutionary group of Christians in sixteenth-century Europe’s religious turmoil. After examining the roots, we pivot to examine the ancestral branches of the past century. How does Anabaptist theology, formed four hundred years ago, enlighten our understanding of Anabaptist activity today? Clearly many other events occurred in those four centuries which should not be discounted, but there is something to be said for the founders of a movement – their goals and vision.