Episode 230: What the Amish Can Do For Us
When people speak of “the Amish” they are using a very simple term that covers over rather than reveals. It’s a term that applies to forty affliations or subgroups, each with a distinctive way of life—from dress and carriages, to technological and cultural choices. And within those forty affiliations are 2,600 church districts, with different religious and social practices. “Yet amidst this diversity,” writes Donald Kraybill, “many common traits—beliefs and rituals—still make it possible to talk about ‘the Amish’ as one social group.”
Donald Kraybill is Distinguished College Professor at Elizabethtown College, where he is also Senior Fellow of the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies. He has written numerous books about the Amish and their related brethren; the latest is What the Amish Teach Us: Plain Living in a Busy World, just published by the Johns Hopkins Univeristy Press.