Paul Doerksen

Associate Professor of Theology and Anabaptist Studies

Paul Doerksen


Theology and Anabaptist Studies




204.487.3300 x632



Paul Doerksen completed his Doctor of Philosophy in Western Religious Thought at McMaster University in 2007 and Master of Theological Studies at Conrad Grebel University College in 1999.

Doerksen has recently published a collection of essays entitledTake and Read: ReflectingTheologically on Books; he also edited the posthumous publication of A. James Reimer's Toward an Anabaptist Political Theology, and co-edited (along with Karl Koop) a collection of essays to celebrate the career of CMU Professor Harry Huebner, entitled The Church Made Strange for the Nations: Essays in Ecclesiology and Political Theology. Doerksen has also authored Beyond Suspicion: Post-Christendom Protestant Political Theology in Yoder and O'Donovan. He is currently researching other topics in political theology, including moral patience, the relationship between theology and human rights discourse, and has an on-going interest in the interrelationship of literature and theology.

In addition to his teaching and research work, Doerksen serves on various boards and committees including L'Arche Winnipeg and, until 2016, the Canadian Board of Faith and Life for the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches. His pastimes include listening to roots music, running, and collecting used books.

Paul Doerksen grew up near New Bothwell, Manitoba but now lives in Winnipeg. He is a long time member of Fort Garry Mennonite Brethren Church with his wife, Julie, and three daughters, Cecely, Hannah, and Greta.

"To be a witness does not consist in engaging in propaganda, nor even in stirring people up, but in being a living mystery. It means to live in such a way that one's life would not make sense if God did not exist." Cardinal Sudhard

"Theology is watching our language in the presence of God." – Gerald O'Collins


VIDEO – Paul Doerksen comments on the book he edited, Toward an Anabaptist Political Theology: Law, Order, and Civil Society (Wipf and Stock, 2014). The book is a collection of essays by the late theologian Dr. A. James Reimer that pursues the investigation of theological realities that are to serve as the engine of a political theology that seeks to articulate both a critical and a positive-constructive approach to public/political life and institutions. 

Areas of Teaching

Theology, Anabaptist Studies, Ethics, Literature and Theology


Bachelor of Religious Education (Honours), Briercrest Bible College, 1983; B.A., B.Ed. University of Winnipeg, 1992; M.T.S. Conrad Grebel University College, 1999; PhD McMaster University, 2006

Work in Detail


* Introduction to Christianity

* Anabaptist Beginnings

* Literature and Theology

* Sixteenth Century Reformations

* Contemporary Anabaptist Theology

* Mennonite Literature and Theology

* Theological Ethics

* Political Theology



Take and Read: Reflecting Theologically on Books (Eugene, Or.: Wipf and Stock, 2016), pp. 258.

Editor of A. James Reimer, Toward an Anabaptist Political Theology: Law, Order, and Civil Society. Eugene, Or.:Wipf and Stock, Theopolitical Visions Series, October, 2014.

Co-editor (with Karl Koop) of The Church Made Strange Made Strange For the Nations: Essays in Political Theology and Ecclesiology, Wipf and Stock: Princeton Theological Monographs, 2011.

Beyond Suspicion: Post-Christendom Protestant Political Theology in the Thought of John Howard Yoder and Oliver O'Donovan, Paternoster Press, 2009; Wipf and Stock, 2010.

Co-editor (with Jeremy Bergen, Karl Koop) of Creed and Conscience: Essays in Honour of A. James Reimer, (Pandora Press), May 2007.


"In the Patience of Love's Delay," Baptistic Theologies, forthcoming.

"Are You Alone Wise? Reflections on the Nature of Theology and Faith," book chapter in volume edited by Timothy Rogalsky and Victor Froese, forthcoming.

"Teaching Mennonite Literature in Conversation with Theology," Center for Mennonite Writing Journal, January 28, 2016 8:1. http://www.mennonitewriting.org/journal/

"The Gospel as Prisoner and Liberator of Culture," Direction Fall 2015 (44:2), 138-143.

"An Anabaptist Account of the Ecclesiological Shaping of the Relationship Between Theology and Human Rights Discourse," Mennonite Quarterly Review, (Spring 2015): 23 pp.

"The Politics of Moral Patience," Political Theology 15:5 (September 2014): 454-467.

Review essay of Paul Martens, The Heterodox Yoder, for Syndicate Theology (online and print) 1:1 (June, 2014).

Gambling: A Short-range Substitute for Faith. Board of Faith and Life Pamphlet for Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, 2013.

"Simultaneously Satisfying and Insatiable," Direction, Spring, 2013.

"Responding But Not Replying: David Bentley Hart and the 'New Atheism,'" Direction, 40, no. 1 (Spring 2011).

"The Air is Not Quite Fresh: Emerging Church Ecclesiology," in Abe Dueck, Helmut Harder, Karl Koop, eds., New Perspectives in Believers Church Ecclesiology,  (Canadian Mennonite University Press), 2010. Reprinted by permission in Direction, 39, no. 1 (Spring 2010): 3-18.

"Toward an Anabaptist Political Theology," in Jeremy Bergen, Paul Doerksen, Karl Koop, eds., Creed and Conscience: Essays in Honour of A. James Reimer, (Pandora Press, 2007): 281-301.

"Hope Without Eschatology?" Direction, 35, no. 2 (Fall 2006): 253-260.

"Exposing the Grain of the World and Living with the Grain of the Universe: The Apocalyptic Stance of John Howard Yoder," Didaskalia, 17, no. 1 (Fall 2005): 51-58.

"Christology in the Political Theology of Oliver O'Donovan," Mennonite Quarterly Review 78, no. 3 (July 2004): 433-447.

"Share the House: John Howard Yoder and Stanley Hauerwas Among the Nations," in Ben Ollenburger and Gayle Gerber Koontz, eds., A Mind Patient and Untamed: Assessing John Howard Yoder's Contributions to Theology, Ethics, and Peacemaking, (Telford: Cascadia Publishing House, 2004):187-204.

"For and Against Milbank: A Critical Discussion of John Milbank's Construal of Ontological Peace," The Conrad Grebel Review 18, no.1 (Winter 2000): 48-59.


MULTIPLY Podcast: https://soundcloud.com/multiplypodcast/2-4-on-dying-wanda-derksen-paul-doerksen

"Restlessness as Theological Method," Presentation at Anabaptist Theology: Methods and Practices Conference, Humanitas Center, Trinity Western University, June 7-9, 2017.

"Figural Theology: Mennonite Theology and Literature," Panel Member at Anabaptist Theology: Methods and Practices Conference, Humanitas Center, Trinity Western University, June 7-9, 2017.

"Theology of Land," Presentation at Germinating Conversations, CMU, March 17, 2016.

"Homosexuality and the Church," 2 Presentations to Young Adult Ministries Program, The Meeting Place, Winnipeg, January 2016.

"Faith, Fiction, and Freedom," at Mennonite(s) Writing Conference, Fresno, Ca. March, 2015.

"Anabaptist Spirituality," MBCI – Spiritual Emphasis Chapels (x2); Jan. 20, 21, 2015.

"Methodist Near Mennonite," Oct. 3, 2014, Near/Ex-Mennonite Conference, University of Winnipeg.

"The Ambivalent Conversation Between Christian Theology and Human Rights Discourse," Ecclesiological Investigations Network Conference: Religion, Authority and the State: From Constantine to the Secular and Beyond, Belgrade, Serbia, June 20, 2013.

"Patience as Pedagogy," Professional Development Retreat, Westgate Mennonite Collegiate, February 20 - 21, 2013.

Selected Reviews

Review of "Malkhaz Songulashvili, Evangelical Christian Baptists of Georgia: The History and Transformation of a Free Church Tradition," in American Baptist Quarterly, forthcoming.

Review of Jason Reimer Greig, Reconsidering Intellectual Disability: L'Arche, Medical Ethics, and Christian Friendship, in Direction, 46:1 (Spring 2017), 111-113.

Review of "Rob Zacharias, ed. After Identity: Mennonite Writing in North America," in Rhubarb, 41: Spring 2017.

Review of "Sue Sorenson, The Collar," Journal of Mennonite Studies, 34 (2016): 328-329.

Review of "Wendell Berry, Sex, Community, Economy, and Freedom" for Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches website.

Review of "Corey and Charles, The Just War Tradition: An Introduction," in Political Theology 15:5 (December 2014).

Review of "Oliver O'Donovan, God, Self, and Time," in The Conrad Grebel Review, 32:3 (Fall 2014): 302-303.

Review of "Oliver O'Donovan, Church in Crisis: The Gay Controversy and the Anglican Communion," Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches website.

Review of "Noah Richler, What We Talk About When We Talk About War," in Winnipeg Review, June 18, 2012.

Review of "Christopher Hitchens, Mortality," Winnipeg Free Press Sept. 8, 2012.

"Review of John Howard Yoder, Nonviolence: A Brief History – The Warsaw Lectures,"

Mennonite Quarterly Review, 86:3(July 2012): 396-397.

"Review of Richard P. Church, First Be Reconciled: Challenging Christians in the Courts," Journal of Mennonite Studies, 30 (2010).

"Review of Stanley Hauerwas and Romand Coles, Christianity, Democracy, and the Radical Ordinary," Conrad Grebel Review, 27, 1 (Winter 2009).

"Review of Oliver O'Donovan, The Ways of Judgment," Conrad Grebel Review 25, 1 (Winter 2007).

Download Publications List PDF


I serve on the board of L'Arche Winnipeg, and am part of an on-going Mennonite-Catholic Dialogue Group in Winnipeg. I lead a theology book discussion group called Take and Read, and preach occasionally at my home congregation, Fort Garry Mennonite Brethren Church, and when other opportunities arise.

Printed from: www.cmu.ca/about.php?s=faculty&id=478