By Charles E. Hurst
Holmes County, Ohio, is domestic to the biggest and such a lot varied Amish neighborhood on the planet. but, unusually, it is still really unknown in comparison to its recognized cousin in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Charles E. Hurst and David L. McConnell carried out seven years of fieldwork, together with interviews with over 2 hundred citizens, to appreciate the dynamism that drives social switch and schism in the payment, the place Amish companies and nonfarming employment have prospered. The authors contend that the Holmes County Amish are experiencing an remarkable and intricate means of switch as their expanding entanglement with the non-Amish marketplace reasons them to reconsider their spiritual convictions, relations practices, academic offerings, occupational shifts, and healthiness care concepts. The authors problem the preferred snapshot of the Amish as a homogeneous, static, insulated society, displaying how the Amish stability tensions among person wishes and group values. They locate that self-made millionaires paintings along suffering dairy farmers; winning lady marketers reside round the corner to stay-at-home moms; and youths either embody and reject the coming-of-age ritual, rumspringa. An Amish Paradox captures the complexity and creativity of the Holmes County Amish, dispelling just like the Amish as a vestige of a bygone period and displaying how they reinterpret culture as modernity encroaches on their detailed lifestyle. (2011)
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Extra info for An Amish Paradox: Diversity and Change in the World's Largest Amish Community (Young Center Books in Anabaptist and Pietist Studies)
28 Because each church district has flexibility to construct its own Ordnung, interesting variations arise between congregations. But the church district is clearly the institution that controls social change in the Amish community. A cluster of church districts that share similar Ordnung are said to be “in fellowship” with each other and are called an affiliation. Full fellowship means that districts can exchange ministers at church services and funerals and that members can take Communion in one another’s church.
As such, it offers a rich laboratory for exploring how external pressures and internal tensions have given rise to diverse patterns of accommodation. The Amish Commonality We acknowledge, along with our emphasis on diversity and change, the considerable stock of shared heritage and common outlook that characterizes all Amish in this settlement and elsewhere. Although the Amish are most accurately described as a sectarian group, with membership open to all who are willing to submit themselves to adult baptism and the rules of the church, they share many features of ethnic groups, including a common history, language, symbols, rituals, and beliefs.
The soil and climate of the Holmes County Settlement proved to be very conducive to Amish farming techniques and to supporting large families. Indeed, the growth in the Amish population in the settlement over the past three decades should put to rest once and for all the misperception that the Amish are on the verge of extinction. 56 The growth to 221 church districts in 2009 is also remarkable, considering that there were only 9 church districts in the Holmes County Settlement in 1913. These rates for the Holmes County Settlement far exceed the population growth rates for most countries in the world and, insofar as they mirror trends in Amish communities across the nation, support the claim that the Amish are one of the fastest-growing groups in the United States.