The Amish Way: Patient Faith in a Perilous World
August 2010, Jossey-Bass
This second book by the authors of the award-winning Amish Grace sheds further light on the Amish, this time on their faith, spirituality, and spiritual practices. They interpret the distinctive practices of the Amish way of life and spirituality in their cultural context and explore their applicability for the wider world. Using a holistic perspective, the book tells the story of Amish religious experience in the words of the Amish themselves. Due to their long-standing friendships and relationships with Amish people, this author team may be the only set of interpreters able to provide an outsider-insider perspective.
- Provides a behind-the-scenes examination of Amish spiritual life
- Shows how the Amish practices can be applied to the wider world
- Written by authors with unprecedented access to the Amish community
Written in a lively and engaging style, The Amish Way holds appeal for anyone who has wanted to know more about the inner workings of the Amish way of life.
Part One Searching for Amish Spirituality 1
1 A Peculiar Way 3
2 Spiritual Headwaters 17
Part Two The Amish Way of Community 29
3 Losing Self 31
4 Joining Church 45
5 Worshiping God 59
6 Living Together 75
Part Three The Amish Way in Everyday Life 91
7 Children 93
8 Family 107
9 Possessions 123
10 Nature 137
11 Evil 151
12 Sorrow 165
Part Four Amish Faith and the Rest of Us 179
13 The Things That Matter 181
Appendix I. The Amish of North America 195
Appendix II. Amish Lectionary 205
Appendix III. Rules of a Godly Life 209
The Authors 247
Donald B. Kraybill, Ph.D., is senior fellow at the Young Center of Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania.
Steven M. Nolt, Ph.D., is professor of history at Goshen College in Goshen, Indiana.
David L. Weaver-Zercher, Ph.D., is professor of American religious history at Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania.
They are the coauthors of the bestselling book Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy, which served as the basis for the most-viewed Lifetime movie of all time.
Kraybill, Nolt, and Weaver-Zercher (Amish Grace) team up once more to offer insight into the often misunderstood world of the Amish. Refreshingly, this study makes a point of focusing on the spiritual and theological aspects of their world rather than simply cataloguing the outward cultural characteristics. Horse-drawn transportation and simple clothing do make their appearances, but they are revealed to be simply incidental to a deeply felt faith rather than something to gawk at. Focusing on a triumvirate of religious beliefs, practices, and affections, the authors weave the spirituality of the Amish through the everyday fibers of existence. Chapters are organized by broad themes including "nature," "sorrow," and "family," then further subdivided into short vignettes featuring a particular practice or belief. The final chapter contains the broadest appeal. It includes a candid appraisal of the costs of living the Amish way, but, more importantly, also suggests how American culture could greatly benefit from the patient faith of this proudly "peculiar" people. All together, the book reads quickly and provides a fine and appropriately simple introduction to the Amish faith. (Oct.) (Publishers Weekly, September 14, 2010)