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Manufacturing Mennonites

Work and Religion in Post-War Manitoba

Complemented with interviews with workers, managers, and business owners, Manufacturing Mennonites pioneers two important new trajectories for scholarship - how religion can affect business history, and how class relations have influenced religious history.

Author Information

ThiessenJanis Lee :

Janis Thiessen is an assistant professor in the Department of History at the University of Winnipeg.


Alvin Finkel:

‘A finely nuanced study of the ways in which Mennonites experience social class relations.’

Lynne Marks:

‘This monograph is a welcome contribution to the social history of religion in Canada… It contributes to our understanding of the complex ways in which religious faith can impact workers’ class consciousness and activism.’

Stephanie Krehbiel:
‘Compelling study… Manufacturing Mennonites could prove to be a model for other scholars examining the relationships between religion and corporate culture.’

James Urry:
‘This is a pioneering work in a new area of study for Mennonites… It has an urban, industrial focus and draws for theoretical and comparative purposes on the scholarly literature of business and labor history applied in new and interesting ways.’

Stephanie Kreihbiel:
Manufacturing Mennonites could prove to be a model for other scholars examining the relationship between religion and corporate culture.’

James Naylor:
‘This is an important and suggestive study that should put to rest tendencies either to ignore religion, or to assume that it has an autonomous power outside of the nexus of capitalist social relations.’

Marlene Epp, Conrad Grebel University College, University of Waterloo:
“Much of the historiography on Mennonites hasemphasized their rural, agricultural livelihood. Manufacturing Mennonites is significant for illuminating the significant role of Mennonite-owned manufacturing industries in the late twentieth century. This well-written work makes an important contribution to the study of Mennonite history and Canadian business history.”

Perry Bush, Department of History, Bluffton University:
Manufacturing Mennonites is a first-rate work that opens up much new terrain not only in Mennonite history and life in contemporary North America, but also in the intersecting fields of religion and social class relations. Along with her careful, painstaking primary research, Janis Thiessen uses a wide-ranging and interdisciplinary approach that moves seamlessly through the fields of labour, ethnic, gender, and business history, as well as economics and even theology. Very well written, provocative, and thoughtful, this book is a remarkable accomplishment and a major contribution to the current literature.”

Audience: College/higher education;Professional and scholarly;