Story-Formed Pathways to Peace
 Headline News from Genesis, Jesus and Today

By Dalton Reimer
(Xlibris, 2018)


  • John Paul Lederach, Professor Emeritus of International Peacemaking, University of Notre Dame

Story-Formed Pathways to Peace is a wonderful and informative read.  So much of our existing literature on conflict and peace studies has taken a turn toward either the abstract conceptual or the purely technical. It is a delight to find an approach that incites the imagination, grounds the conversation in real life stories, and provides such an array of perspectives. Dalton brings his years of experience in practice and teaching into pathways that enlighten and encourage, much needed for the current morass of the unimaginative and unproductive landscape of polarization we seem to inhabit across our globe today. I highly recommend this excellent book.

  • Laura N. Goerzen, Pastor of First Mennonite Church of Christian (Moundridge, KS)

Dalton Reimer’s Story-Formed Pathways to Peace highlights the often missed relational dynamics of familiar stories in Genesis and the Gospels. From the first families in Genesis to Jesus’ teachings on families and relationships, Reimer draws out the challenges of living peacefully with one another whether in the intimate setting of the family, or in the broader context of the world community. Reimer highlights the failures and successes of the biblical families and communities that have gone before us, and then introduces the transformative way of peace taught by Jesus. My congregation loved the worship series I led based on Reimer’s work. They appreciated the opportunity to see the interpersonal conflicts of Genesis in new ways that connected them to the sorts of conflicts they encounter in daily life.

  • Ron Claassen, Co-Founder and former Director of the Center for Peacemaking and Conflict Studies at Fresno Pacific University

Stories featured in Story-Formed Pathways to Peace: Headline News from Genesis, Jesus and Today, as told by Reimer, opened each morning of our week-long, 8 hour per day, Basic Institute in Conflict Management, Peacemaking and Restorative Justice that he and I offered annually for 25 years. He presented the stories in a way that students, regardless of their faith or values perspective, listened and eagerly anticipated the next day’s story. In their final course reflections, students consistently included how much they learned from them and how these stories provided inspiration and motivation to want to learn more about being a peacemaker. As he prepared and told these stories, he consistently combined his academic excellence with his deep Anabaptist faith (or commitment to peacemaking). Through the years, he added to and further refined them. I also listened and learned from him as he continued to gain new insights. As I read Story-Formed Pathways to Peace, I could hear him telling the stories and thoroughly enjoyed the additional thoughts added in the book that emerged as he was writing. I would strongly recommend this book for everyone who is open to learning about the connection between Genesis, Jesus, and current events. I think that while anyone will benefit from reading it, it will be especially valuable to leaders of faith communities, peacemaking practitioners, and academics who teach peace.

  • David Augsburger, Professor Emeritus of Pastoral Care and Counseling, Fuller Theological Seminary

Isak Dinesin wrote “All our sorrows can be borne if we can weave them into a story.” Dalton Reimer tells us that our conflicts can be turned toward transformative ends if we are willing to learn from ignored or forgotten stories, YES.

Dalton Reimer is a pathfinder. He has been searching for pathways that trace a way through the thickets or lead out of the deserts of conflict.

A professor, he knows the literature of peace studies; a dean, he knows the signs of community conflict; a churchman, he has seen the chaos created by people who are troubled by similarities and blame it on their differences.

The pathways, he has concluded, are found not in propositions or prohibitions, but in stories.

Stories form our best repositories of wisdom. In stories we see people move toward each other again after bitter division. From stories we gain the hope to reach out after lonely alienation. Archetypical stories, from the Hebrew and Christian scriptures, are particularly instructive, illuminating the depths of human rivalry, hostility and brutality. Reimer’s half century of exploration of why people hurt each other and how they harm community provides a narrative wisdom beginning with the first sibling murder and stretching to the murder of the ultimate innocent victim. These meditations provide the reader with a depth analysis of how severed limbs of relationships can be restored and embrace the other once more. They teach us how, they teach us to reach out again.