An overview of the amish history and culture

Kraybill Overview The year marked the existence of years of Amish life. Extinct in their European homeland, today they live in more than settlements in 22 states and the Canadian province of Ontario. The Amish are one of the more distinctive and colorful cultural groups across the spectrum of American pluralism.

An overview of the amish history and culture

Both were part of the early Anabaptist movement in Europe, which took place at the time of the Reformation. The Anabaptists believed that only adults who had confessed their faith should be baptized, and that they should remain separate from the larger society.

Many early Anabaptists were put to death as heretics by both Catholics and Protestants, and many others fled to the mountains of Switzerland and southern Germany. Here began the Amish tradition of farming and holding worship services in homes rather than churches. His writings and leadership united many of the Anabaptist groups, who were nicknamed "Mennonites.

His followers were called the "Amish. The Amish and Mennonites both settled in Pennsylvania as part of William Penn's "holy experiment" of religious tolerance. The first sizable group of Amish arrived in Lancaster County in the s or s.

There are actually three families, or Anabaptist-related groups, found in Lancaster County: All three groups share the Anabaptist belief that calls for making a conscious choice to accept God.

Accordingly, only adults are baptized. The three groups also share the same basic values concerning the all-encompassing authority of the Bible, a philosophy of brotherhood and non-resistance and the importance of family and community. The groups differ primarily in matters of dress, language, forms of worship and the extent to which they allow modern technology and the forces of the "outside world" to impact their lives.

Most Brethren and Mennonites dress much like their "English" neighbors. Other Mennonites, Brethren and Amish Mennonites wear distinctive Amish clothing but may make use of "worldly" conveniences, such as cars, electricity and telephones.

An overview of the amish history and culture

On the other hand, Old Order Mennonite and Old Order Amish groups are more restrictive in their views of modern technology, with the Old Order Amish being the most conservative of Lancaster County's "plain" groups.

Pennsylvania Amish Beliefs There is no single governing body for the entire Old Order Amish population; rather, each church district decides for itself what it will and will not accept. However, all districts base their regulations on a literal interpretation of the Bible and an unwritten set of rules called the Ordnung.

And the population as a whole stresses humility, family, community and separation from the modern world. Humility is the hallmark of Amish beliefs. Mild and modest personalities are esteemed. Patience, waiting and yielding to others are marks of maturity.

Obedience, conformity to goals and community activities are encouraged. To preserve the Amish identity and maintain spiritual harmony, members are encouraged to surrender their personal aspirations for the sake of community purity.

These ideals are maintained by keeping all work, play, worship, commerce and friendship within the Amish orbit. The Pennsylvania Amish believe that community harmony is threatened by secular values such as individualism and pride, which permeate the modern world.

Thus, the Amish of Pennsylvania curb interaction with outsiders and insulate themselves from modern technology and mass media. They also prohibit habits that feed individualism and greed, as displayed through their plain dress style and prohibition of personal photographs. Personal Bible study and devotions are discouraged because individual interpretations may challenge traditional doctrine.

Buggies are a dark gray color so they can blend into their surroundings rather than stand out. Although the Pennsylvania Amish resist cultural influences, they are willing to strike compromises with the modern world, tapping its benefits while still preserving the Amish identity.

They are willing to use modern technology to livework and communicate - as long as they do not disrupt family and community stability. Learn about the Pennsylvania Amish lifestyle by visiting our Amish attractions.

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Learn how our ice cream is made, invent and taste your very own ice cream flavor in our Taste Lab, star in your own commercial and get free samples of iced tea and ice cream!Pennsylvania Amish religious beliefs and culture.

The Amish church began in the late s led by Jakob Ammann as a branch of the Anabaptist movement. The word Anabaptist refers to “believers baptism” or the practice of being baptized as an adult as a declaration of faith instead of the tradition of infant baptism. Title: TITLE Author: AUTHOR Created Date: 2/2/ PM.

The Amish way of life and culture explained. Read about their way of life regarding their funerals, weddings, schools, traditions and life in general. Mennonite People, .

The Amish, without their electricity, cars, and television appear to be a static culture, never changing. This, however, is just an illusion.

Acculturation and Assimilation

In fact, the Amish are a dynamic culture which is, through market forces and other means, continually interacting with the enormously.

In Amish culture, the dialect is used mainly as a form of oral communication: it is the language of work, family, friendship, play, and intimacy. Young children live in the world of the dialect until they learn English in the Amish school.

The history of the Amish church began with a schism in Switzerland within a group of Swiss and Alsatian Anabaptists in led by Jakob Ammann.

Eventually they dropped the word "Amish" from the names of their congregations and lost their Amish identity and culture.

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