Ben Goossen is a global historian of religion and science. He is the author of Chosen Nation: Mennonites and Germany in a Global Era (Princeton University Press, 2017), which examines the relationship between Mennonites and German nationalism during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Ranging from Poland to Paraguay, Chosen Nation engages questions of warfare and pacifism, theology and political activism, gender, genocide, and anti-Semitism to explore new methods of narrating the processes of nationalization and global diaspora. Goossen's current project, "The Year of the Earth (1957-1958): Cold War Science and the Making of Planetary Consciousness," is an interpretive history of the International Geophysical Year. Drawing on research conducted on six continents, it illuminates the intersections of science and geopolitics—including Antarctic law, the rise of Big Data, plate tectonic theory, and the discovery of global warming—at the dawn of the space age.
Goossen has held fellowships from the Fulbright Commission and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and he is a Beinecke Scholar. He has received awards for excellence in teaching and scholarship from the Kansas Historical Foundation, the Associated Church Press, the Canadian Church Press, Swarthmore College, and Harvard University. He edits the German Mennonite Sources Database and is a co-founder of Anabaptist Historians. His essays and reviews appear in publications ranging from Nova Religio and Waging Nonviolence to the Journal of the History of Ideas blog.
Chosen Nation: Mennonites and Germany in a Global Era (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2017).
Introduction Bibliography Reviews
Articles and Chapters
"Taube und Hakenkreuz: Verhandlungen zwischen der NS-Regierung und dem MCC in Bezug auf die lateinamerikanischen Mennoniten," Jahrbuch für Geschichte und Kultur der Mennoniten in Paraguay 18 (2017): 133-160.
“Das Völklein und das Volk: Mennoniten und Nationalismus in Deutschland vor 1933,” in Mennoniten in der NS-Zeit: Stimmen, Lebenssituationen, Erfahrungen, ed. Marion Kobelt-Groch and Astrid von Schlachta (Bolanden-Weierhof: Mennonitischer Geschichtsverein, 2017), 76-89.
"Mennonites in Latin America: A Review of the Literature," Conrad Grebel Review 34, no. 3 (2016): 236-265.
“Religious Nationalism in an Age of Globalization: The Case of Paraguay’s ‘Mennonite State,’” Almanack 13, no. 4 (2016): 74-90.
“From Aryanism to Anabaptism: Nazi Race Science and the Language of Mennonite Ethnicity,” Mennonite Quarterly Review 90, no. 2 (2016): 135-163.
“Measuring Mennonitism: Racial Categorization in Nazi Germany and Beyond,” Journal of Mennonite Studies 34 (2016): 225-246.
“Mennoniten als Volksdeutsche: Die Rolle des Mennonitentums in der nationalsozialistischen Propaganda,” trans. Helmut Foth, Mennonitische Geschichtsblätter 71 (2014): 54-70.
“‘Like a Brilliant Thread’: Gender and Vigilante Democracy in the Kansas Coalfield, 1921-1922,” Kansas History: A Journal of the Central Plains 34, no. 3 (2011): 206-223.
"Mennonites and the Holocaust: An Introduction," Anabaptist Historians, February 7, 2018.
"Anabaptists and the Reformation 500 Years Later," Anabaptist Historians, November 10, 2017.
“'Friendly Warning': Announcing the 1957-1958 International Geophysical Year," United Nations History Project, September 2017.
"Why 500 Years? A Critique of Anabaptism’s Upcoming Anniversary Celebration," Mennonite Life, July 2017.
"Mennonite Fascism," Anabaptist Historians, April 27, 2017.
"Mennonites Seek to Come to Terms with Nazi Collaboration," Religion News Service, March 16, 2017. (In French).
"How to Radicalize a Peaceful Minority," Princeton University Press blog, February 7, 2017.
"Mennonite Privilege," The Mennonite, February 1, 2017.
"Series on Mennonite Crime has a Nazi Precedent," Winnipeg Free Press, January 24, 2017.
"Ditigal History: The German Mennonite Sources Database," Anabaptist Historians, January 5, 2017.
"Mennonite Genealogy and Racial Privilege," Anabaptist Historians, November 3, 2016.
"Becoming Aryan," Canadian Mennonite Magazine, June 28, 2016.
"Legacy of a Mennonite State," Mennonite World Review, April 11, 2016.
“When did Amish become Old-Fashioned?” Journal of the History of Ideas blog, June 29, 2015.
“Immigrants from Former Soviet Union Challenge German Secularism,” Mennonite World Review, March 17, 2014. (In German).
“What the US Can Learn from Germany’s Stunning Environmental Movement,” Waging Nonviolence, November 12, 2013.
David L. Weaver-Zercher, Martyrs Mirror: A Social History (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016).
Mark Jantzen, Mary S. Sprunger, and John D. Thiesen, European Mennonites and the Challenge of Modernity Over Five Centuries (North Newton, KS: Bethel College, 2016).
Jacob A. Neufeld, Path of Thorns: Soviet Mennonite Life under Communist and Nazi Rule (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2014).