Pandora Press has had an interesting history leading up to the present, and this year has seen significant changes in its leadership, vision, and publishing model. Founded in the 1990s by C. Arnold Snyder, an historian at Conrad Grebel University College, and continued by Christian Snyder in the 2010s culminating with the publication of Jo Snyder’s The Vegan Mennonite Kitchen, Pandora Press is now – as they say – under new management.
Following many fruitful conversations with Christian Snyder in 2021, as of January 2022 I am now the Director of Pandora Press. To say the very least, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to grow and transform its work over the coming years, and I have much to share with readers of Anabaptist Historians in what follows.
First, I should say something about what Pandora Press has been doing so far this year and last. Our 2021 featured title, Jo Snyder’s cookbook The Vegan Mennonite Kitchen, continues to make a strong contribution to the conversation on Mennonite culinary cultures through its delicious recipes and storied reflections (not to mention a review in Chatelaine).
The Vegan Mennonite Kitchen: Old Recipes for a Changing World, by Jo Snyder. 186 color pages. 2021. ISBN: 978-1-926599-71-7. www.veganmennonite.com
The past few months have seen the publication of two titles that were in-press in late 2021, the first of which was recently covered in an interview with Lucille Marr, published here on Anabaptist Historians. The second title adds to the Bridgefolk series that collects papers from Mennonite Catholic dialogues, with a cover designed by the talented Meghan Harder.
Menno’s Descendants in Quebec: The Mission Activity of Four Anabaptist Groups 1956 – 2021, by Richard Lougheed. 2021. 255 pp. ISBN: 9781926599724
Intercessory Prayer and the Communion of Saints: Mennonite and Catholic Perspectives, Edited by Darrin W. Snyder Belousek and Margaret R. Pfeil. 2022. 260 pp. ISBN: 978-1926599786
Two further titles that contribute to established themes in Pandora Press’s publication history have recently been released, the first of which is a joint effort with the Masthof Press (which distributes the book in the United States), and the second of which is a new edition of a standout title in our spiritual care series.
Making Wars Cease: A Survey of the MCC Peace Section, 1940–1990, by Urbane Peachey. 2022. 320 pages. ISBN: 978-1926599885
Spiritual Caregivers in the Hospital: Windows to Competent Practice. Third Edition, Edited by Leah D. Bueckert and Daniel S. Schipani. 2022. 348 pp. ISBN 979-888627349-6
Beyond these four books, Pandora Press is excited to announce the following new and forthcoming publications. I have recently had the pleasure of editing a booklet on theologies of the border and the European refugee crisis, authored by Hadje Cresencio Sadje, a prolific graduate student who is currently a visiting fellow at the Toronto Mennonite Theological Centre.
Theology at the Border: Community Peacemaker Teams and the Refugee Crisis in Europe, by Hadje Cresencio Sadje. 2022, 109 pp. ISBN: 978-1926599755
We are also very close to publishing a novel that stages a unique literary and philosophical encounter between Mennonite identity and Ancient Greek thought. Ronald Tiessen’s Menno in Athens narrates a pilgrimage that will speak to both the hearts and minds of its readers.
Menno in Athens: A Novel, by Ronald Tiessen. With original artwork by Lisa Rollo Kipp. 2022. 200 pp. ISBN: 978-1-926599-74-8
Beyond these titles, late 2022 will also see the publication of a book of weekly meditations on favourite hymns by Carla Klassen, an expansion of the recent Zeman Lectures by Gary Waite, a substantial study of Anabaptist oath refusal by Edmund Pries, and the first publication of Cornelius J. Dyck’s dissertation on the Dutch Anabaptist figure Hans de Ries, introduced by Mary Sprunger.
Spring 2022 Catalogue
Over the past six months I have been bringing older Pandora Press titles back into print, so if you have been looking for one of our books that has gone out of print it is likely that it is now available again. Our new catalogue includes a near-comprehensive list of our books, both past and present, so please see here for a PDF copy.
A New Logo for Pandora Press
To mark the major changes that have taken place over the past year in both its directorship and vision, and to signal its movement into new and exciting futures, I am excited to present the new Pandora Press logo, designed by Winnipeg illustrator and designer, and author of the highly-praised graphic novel Shelterbelts, Jonathan Dyck (https://www.jonathandyck.com).
The new logo is meant to be as evocative as the name of the press, calling to mind the tumult of Pandora’s box, which in Hesiod’s Theogony contains the foreboding promise of both positive and negative futures. In addition to the new logo, new books published in 2022 and onward will also include a larger and more detailed image that combines several themes connected to the press’s identity.
Although Pandora Press remains an independent publisher, informal friends of the press include the Toronto Mennonite Theological Centre (directed by Kyle Gingerich Hiebert), the Institute of Anabaptist Mennonite Studies at Conrad Grebel University College (Associate Director, David Neufeld), the Canadian Mennonite University Press (now run by Sue Sorensen), the Institute of Mennonite Studies at the Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (led by Jamie Pitts and David Cramer), and Gelassenheit Publications (a new publishing company run by Jonathan Seiling).
Collegial relationships of mutual support are the only viable future available for Mennonite publishing and Mennonite higher education, and my aim is for Pandora Press to be a key part of that future by providing a home for scholars in and around the interdisciplinary field of Mennonite Studies to publish their work.
Pandora Press invites submissions of both popular and scholarly manuscripts, including revisions of dissertations. Our established specializations are in Anabaptist history and Mennonite theology, but we are expanding in new interdisciplinary directions and we encourage submissions from scholars across the social sciences and humanities, as well as from literary writers in the ever-blooming discourse on Mennonite/s Writing.
For its academic titles, Pandora Press uses double-blind peer review and consultation with its newly formed editorial board in order to ensure a high standard of quality and scholarly rigour. Not all manuscripts will be accepted of course (for reasons of both quality and capacity), but Pandora Press is committed to helping early career scholars place their work with publishers that will help them succeed in their chosen fields, whether by referral to other editors or through constructive suggestions about form and content.
Pandora Press is currently seeking funding to pay for three major translations in the area of Anabaptist history, only one of which can be made public because contracts have yet to be signed. And it is an exciting project indeed!
In 1972 the Reformation History scholar Gottfried Seebaß submitted his lengthy habilitationsschrift, Müntzers Erbe: Werke, Leben und Theologie des Hans Hut. Although at some point a typescript of the work was informally circulated, it took 35 years for the book to be published in Germany. The book was eventually released by Gütersloher Verlagshaus in 2002 to great acclaim. In his review for the Mennonite Quarterly Review, Tom Scott writes that:
“It is astonishing that a scholarly work, whose importance was recognized when it first appeared as a Habilitationsschrift in 1972, should have taken thirty years to find its way into print. Unfortunately, Seebass does not explain the reasons for the delay, nor why it should now at last have been published. It is even more remarkable, as Seebass notes in a brief afterword, that so few of his findings about the life and work of Hans Hut have been revised, let alone overturned, by subsequent scholarship in the intervening years. Both facts testify to the meticulous research and secure command of the theological highways and byways of the Radical Reformation that Seebass displays…” (MQR 77.3 2003)
In late 2021 Pandora Press commissioned an English translation of the book from Amalie Enns, and we are now seeking financial support to pay for translation, copyediting, typesetting, and distribution. If you are interested in supporting the project please contact the press through this form.
A Note of Gratitude
Mennonite Studies, Mennonite Theology, and Anabaptist History are each in a state of flux. Major shifts are occurring for journals like the Mennonite Quarterly Review (as John D. Roth takes on the oversight of MennoMedia’s work on the 500th Anniversary of the start of Anabaptism), and exciting new work is being done by younger scholars in the field – many of whom are featured on this site. In providing the update above I also want to express my gratitude to those who support the work of graduate students and early career scholars in the field, and especially to those who continue to purchase books published by Pandora Press and the other publishers listed above.
With thanks for your past, present, and future support of scholarly publishing in Anabaptist and Mennonite Studies,