When Professor Emeritus Harry Huebner retired from his full-time role as Professor of Philosophy and Theology at Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) in 2008, there were hints that a special Festschrift was underway to further celebrate his career.
As the German word implies, a Festschrift is a writing that is meant to celebrate. Co-editors Karl Koop and Paul Doerksen were delighted to play a key role in producing such a book as a means to pay tribute to a beloved member of the academic community and church.
“We are excited to announce the publication of a collection of essays entitled The Church Made Strange for the Nations: Essays in Ecclesiology and Political Theology,” says Koop, CMU professor of History and Theology and Director of Graduate Studies.
“The book, published by Pickwick Publications, part of Wipf and Stock Publishers, in their Princeton Theological Monograph Series, celebrates the contributions made by our colleague Professor Harry Huebner during his long and distinguished career,” says Doerksen, CMU Assistant Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies. The title The Church Made Strange for the Nations is taken from an essay Huebner wrote in 1997.
The celebratory book launch and reception took place November 25, 2011 at CMU. CMU Vice-President Academic Earl Davey opened the program, with remarks then shared by Koop, Doerksen, and Huebner.
“Harry has been an inspiring professor and mentor, an influential scholar, a competent administrator, a valued colleague, and a theological leader of the church. Today, handing over this book to Harry is another small way toward recognizing his contributions. It is also a way of giving thanks to God for his goodness to us,” says Koop.
Doerksen noted how Huebner exerted a strong influence over his faith formation and approach to teaching long before he met Huebner in person. He recalled reading a chapter by Huebner called “How Can Ethics Be Christian?” Says Doerksen: “I was sent down a road of inquiry that continues to this day – and so, over the years since, I’ve marched hundreds of students through that essay.”
In accepting the honour paid to him, Huebner acknowledged the time and effort that goes in to producing such a book. “Thank you for this rare and special gift,” he said. “I am especially appreciative of the diverse group of colleagues and perspectives represented in this book – seven colleagues are from this beloved institution and eight from elsewhere.”
Huebner, who graduated from the University of Manitoba with a BA in Philosophy/Psychology and an MA in Philosophy, earned his PhD in Theology at the University of St. Michael’s College. He came to one of CMU’s founding college Canadian Mennonite Bible College (CMBC) in 1971, and remained at CMU throughout his career, taking time to do PhD work in Toronto from 1974-’75 and serving with Mennonite Central Committee in Jerusalem from 1981-’83.
In his spare time, Huebner enjoys travelling, especially to the Middle East. He and his wife Agnes attend Charleswood Mennonite Church in Winnipeg and have three grown children, Christopher, Rochelle, and Carolyn, and seven grandchildren.
TO ORDER: Book orders and individual purchases can be made through the CMU Bookstore at 500 Shaftesbury Blvd., Winnipeg MB.
Released November 30, 2011.