Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Divinity (MDiv)



First Advisor/Committee Member

Michael D. Langford, Ph.D., Professor of Theology, Discipleship, and Ministry

Second Advisor/Committee Member

David Nienhius, Ph.D., Professor of New Testament and Associate Dean of Academic Programs


Anabaptists; Christian ethics; Christianity and politics; Church; Discernment (Christian theology); Historic peace churches; Holy Spirit; Jesus Christ—Person and offices; Liberation theology; Oppression (Psychology); Pacifism—Religious aspects—Christianity; Peace—Religious aspects—Christianity; Political ethics; Poverty—Religious aspects—Christianity; Revelation; Social justice; Trinity; Yoder, John Howard, 1927-1997


John Howard Yoder’s Christocentric political ethics strongly maintain the church as the subject of a Christian peace witness to the world but, because of an underdeveloped pneumatology, is less effective at establishing the church as the ongoing recipient of revelation. A complementary pneumatological perspective that remains anchored in the work of God in Christ can maintain the distinctive witnessing role of the church while also allowing the discernment of the Holy Spirit’s activity in the world to call the church to a more faithful participation in the life of Jesus Christ. This pneumatology enables a synthesis with liberation theologies which emphasize the Holy Spirit’s presence and activity in and among poor and oppressed peoples toward the dismantling and redress of unjust and violent structures.

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