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ISBN:080186772X
Author: Donald B. Kraybill
ISBN13: 978-0801867729
Title: The Riddle of Amish Culture (Center Books in Anabaptist Studies)
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ePUB size: 1297 kb
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Language: English
Category: Social Sciences
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press; Revised edition (November 2, 2001)
Pages: 424

The Riddle of Amish Culture (Center Books in Anabaptist Studies) by Donald B. Kraybill



Series: Center Books in Anabaptist Studies. Paperback: 424 pages. What would have made the book better is more case studies and more discussion of the drawbacks of Amish life. The Amish admirably avoids many of the ills of modern society. My feeling though, is that gender equality is absent in Amish culture, and they have no way of dealing with gay or transgendered individuals.

Since its publication in 1989, The Riddle of Amish Culture has become recognized as a classic work on one of America's most distinctive religious communities. But many changes have occurred within Amish society over the past decade, from westward migrations and a greater familiarity with technology to the dramatic shift away from farming into small business which is transforming Amish culture. But many changes have occurred within Amish society over the past decade, from westward migrations and a greater familiarity with technology to the dramatic shift away from farming into small business which is transf Since its publication in 1989, The Riddle of Amish Culture has become recognized as a classic work on one of America's most distinctive religious communities. The book is written by Donald B Kraybill. A Distinguished Professor a A while ago, I stumbled upon an article about the Amish. I bought this book at a Mennonite-Amish visitors' center - the girls and I learned that these centers were run by Mennonites, so most of the books were about that faith and its traditions and practices.

Since its publication in 1989, "The Riddle of Amish Culture" has become recognized as a classic work on one of America's most distinctive religious communities. But many changes have occurred within Amish society over the past decade, from westward migrations and a greater familiarity with technology to the dramatic shift away from farming into small business which is transforming Amish culture

Donald B. Kraybill is Distinguished College Professor and Senior Fellow in the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College, Pennsylvania. Библиографические данные. The Riddle of Amish Culture Center Books in Anabaptist Studies.

by Donald B. Kraybill. Series: Center Books in Anabaptist Studies. com Product Description (ISBN 080186772X, Paperback). Since its publication in 1989, The Riddle of Amish Culture has become recognized as a classic work on one of America's most distinctive religious communities.

Donald B. Kraybill and Steven M. Nolt, "Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy. com online book store. Donald B. Kraybill, "The Riddle of Amish Culture (Center Books in Anabaptist Studies). This is an update of a 1989 classic on the Amish culture. Misty Griffin, "Tears of the Silenced: A True Crime.

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The Riddle of Amish Culture. The Amish and the State. Kraybill and Carl Desportes Bowman. Mennonite Entrepreneurs.

Donald Brubaker Kraybill, American humanities educator, writer. Amish Enterprise: From Plows to Profits (Center Books in Anabaptist Studies) ) Amish culture has been rooted in the soil since its beginnings in 1693.

Since its publication in 1989, The Riddle of Amish Culture has become recognized as a classic work on one of America's most distinctive religious communities. But many changes have occurred within Amish society over the past decade, from westward migrations and a greater familiarity with technology to the dramatic shift away from farming into small business which is transforming Amish culture. For this revised edition, Donald B. Kraybill has taken these recent changes into account, incorporating new demographic research and new interviews he has conducted among the Amish. In addition, he includes a new chapter describing Amish recreation and social gatherings, and he applies the concept of "social capital" to his sensitive and penetrating interpretation of how the Amish have preserved their social networks and the solidarity of their community.

Reviews: 7
Tolrajas
I couldn't have found a better book to introduce me to the Amish in America. Professor Kraybill's book is detailed, well organized, insightful, and well written. He illuminates Amish customs, beliefs, culture, and the ways the group has changed over the years. He answers the question, despite their peculiarity and restrictions on individual freedom, why have the Amish survived and thrived in modern times? High birthrates and low attrition have caused the Amish population to grow exponentially in the last century. Their venture into business, work ethic, and ability to adapt modern technology without compromising their values have enabled them to thrive financially. Most Amish are better off financially than moderns because they have a low cost of living, lots of help from friends and neighbors, and equity in the form of land passed down to them. Modern people have to deal with student debt, keeping up with consumer trends, maintaining an adequate wardrobe, high transportation and housing costs, high healthcare costs, etc. etc. Professor Kraybill emphasizes the benefits of Amish culture but also thoughtfully addresses the criticisms of Amish culture.

Even though Amish culture seems complicated with many rules and restrictions and confusing compromises, a few defining values guide their lifestyle. The first is the value of community over individualism. In Amish society, individual needs are subsumed to those of the community. The pursuit of personal achievements, higher education, artistic expression, and freedom of dress, occupation, and gender roles are curtailed in Amish society. But the individual receives many benefits from the community such as a sense of identity in a clearly defined culture; the closeness and support of family, neighbors, and church; a lifestyle that integrates work and home. The Amish value of humility explains their plain dress, their hard work ethic, and their eschewal of conspicuous consumption or anything that displays wealth or status. Even though some Amish may be very wealthy, they maintain equality in the community by using the same form of horse and buggy transportation, the same dress, and relatively modest furnishings in the home. Although trying to distinguish oneself through wealth, power, education is not allowed, the Amish also do not have members who are neglected or left in poverty. The sick and the elderly are cared for at home, and children are educated near the home, and those who experience hardship are given mutual aid.

The Amish seem strict in their rejection of technology but they have actually been very saavy in adapting to modernity. Technologies that enhance productivity have been adopted. Even though grid-powered electricity is not allowed, the Amish have adopted diesel powered engines, natural gas for heat and cooking, and air pressure powered appliances. Even solar and wind power are coming into use in the community. Modern furnishings, plumbing, use of medicines have made modern Amish life much more comfortable than in previous eras. What the Amish has preserved is their own education, religion, values, and sense of simplicity, equality, and community.

What would have made the book better is more case studies and more discussion of the drawbacks of Amish life. The Amish admirably avoids many of the ills of modern society. My feeling though, is that gender equality is absent in Amish culture, and they have no way of dealing with gay or transgendered individuals. What about the practice of shunning people who do not conform? Denying children the pursuit of learning or occupation of their choice, confining women to the home and raising large families, are rather problematic. A more honest discussion of these topics would have been good.

I really appreciated the discussion of Amish culture's relevance to modern society in the last chapter. The Amish serve as a foil to our individualistic and materialistic society. It helps us compare what works and what doesn't. Despite not having modern conveniences and personal choice, the Amish have high quality lifestyles where crime is low, divorce is low, poverty is low. While ambitious people would feel oppressed in Amish society, regular people also do not have to struggle so hard to have a basic standard of living. Their willingness to stay close to home has helped them build social and material capital over generations. The choice of the Amish to remain true to their traditional values is ironically modern because they understand what modernity offers them and have chosen another way. They are an important group to help us understand ourselves as much as they are fascinating on their own.
Flash_back
This book examines and compares Amish culture alongside the Englisher culture. Dr. Kraybill makes a fair and honest assessment of both cultures. A good research resource for those who need one, this book does repeat its observations and conclusions fairly often. As such, the salient points become fixed in the reader's mind. This book is chock full of footnotes providing additional information and stating sources. There's an excellent index making this an easy resource to use. The bibliography provides still more information. Although this reviewer found this book helpful and worth the cost, the comprehensive nature of this work does slow its reading pace...the reason behind four instead of five stars.
Bluecliff
This is an extensive treatment of many questions relating to Amish culture by one of this country's foremost experts. It places the Amish in the historical context of the Anabaptist movement in Europe and covers differences in Mennonite and Amish communities in this country, although it focuses on the Lancaster Amish with whom Kraybill has worked most extensively. Kraybill uses sociological principles to explain practices that might seem inconsistent or contradictory; thus, he makes sense of the apparent riddles. I live in Amish country and found that this very informative book answered the questions I had developed over the years. The book would be especially interesting to those already interested in the Amish culture, but most Americans would benefit from some consideration of the value of living apart from the world with a focus on family, faith, and community as opposed to our obsession with materialism and individualism. Although it is more work to read a scholarly book like this, I think it is much more balanced and informative than some of the popular memoirs written by a single individual who has left the Amish community.

Note that this book has photographs and several diagrams and tables that are hard to view on the original Kindle. On the other hand, reading it on a Kindle makes it easy to search for important terms and historical facts presented earlier--important in an long book if you read it over several weeks, as I did.
Vareyma
If you're trying to make sense of a complex culture, especially if you expected it to be plain and simple, this is the book to read. I've bought (and read) many books related to the Amish, but nothing else matches this book for a thorough and in-depth picture of what makes them like us... and very different, too.
Gavirgas
Very good reading material. Nice to know that there are people who have respect for Christian values. I try to live respecting those values as well.
Tantil
Kraybill's treatment is an necessary extension of the work Hostetler began. Kraybill's book analyzes more specific examples of what "Moderns" see as hypocritical behavior among the Amish and provides the historical and doctrinal framework for understanding the rationale. There are no arbitrary decisions made regarding the prescriptions and proscriptions. As he concludes, the Amish are actually more advanced in their thinking than Moderns give them credit for.

I would have rated this 5 stars, however, I think there are some points where Kraybill restates the same points needlessly; i.e. he will make a point, and then restate it in 2-3 different ways. Then, revisit that point again later in the book within a different context, and restate it again, 2-3 different ways.
Unnis
A very informative book, I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to know more about the Amish people.
Wonderful book, explains a lot about the Amish religion, lifestyle, and even the changes being made to conform to modern demands.