The Peace Theology Research Project, sponsored by the MCC Peace Office, will hold a conference August 1-4, 2004, at Akron, Pennsylvania, on the theme "Seeking the Welfare of the City: Questions of Public Peace, Justice and Order."

The conference is open to Mennonites and Brethren in Christ from the United States and Canada. It aims for a wide participation across theological and occupational ranges: theologians, biblical scholars and pastors; persons trained in the humanities and social sciences; professionals working in social work, law and public administration; activists and persons involved in advocacy work. A number of international participants will also be invited.

The goal of the Project is to propose a direction for Mennonite peace theology that takes into account current public concerns of peace, justice and security in North America and beyond. It also intends to provide a basis for how Mennonites are or should be involved in thinking about and addressing these issues in their nations and communities, and in the wider world.

Conference presentations may address issues at the international/global, national, state/provincial or local levels. They may address questions from an analytical perspective, from the viewpoint of participation in public structures through work or advocacy, or with the aim of imagining and modeling alternatives to current public philosophies and practices.

Conference organizers invite proposal abstracts of 250-300 words to be submitted by December 31, 2003, for consideration in the conference program. Final essays will be written in a popular yet serious journalistic style, 3,000 - 5,000 words in length, organized around a thesis, contain no footnotes, not have been previously published in the form they are being submitted and have 3-5 suggestions for further reading attached.

Essays selected for the conference program will become the property of the Project and will be considered for future publication. Notification of proposals chosen for the program will be given by January 31, 2004. Room and board costs will be covered for persons presenting at the conference; some travel scholarships may also be available.

Proposal abstracts should be sent either by email--with "Peace Theology Research Project" on the subject line--to bh@mcc.org, or by snail mail to Peace Theology Research Project, MCC Peace Office, Mennonite Central Committee, Box 500, Akron, PA 17501.

For further information, contact Bob and Judy Zimmerman Herr, MCC Peace Office, Mennonite Central Committee, Box 500, Akron, PA 17501. Phone: (717) 859-1151; email bh@mcc.org