Amish Religion and Culture

2859 Words Jun 17th, 2011 12 Pages
Abstract

The focus of this research paper is to examine the religious beliefs of the Amish communities. From their humble beginnings of migration into the United States from Europe, to their present day living arrangements, they have been and will continue to be a prosperous community. By shunning modern conveniences and relying only on what nature has provided, society has referred to them as the “Plain People.” Being far from ordinary in their dress and way of life separates this community from that of the modern world. They have managed to integrate into modern life while holding on to their cultural values. It is with continued commitment from its members that this community will continue to thrive. I often drive to the
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I remember growing up as a child my family and I would visit the local Amish community. There my parents would purchase produce such as fruits, vegetables, and even eggs. My parents would make purchases from them because they said everything grown by the Amish was much fresher and was cheaper to buy than in our local grocery store. Each Amish province is completely independent and lives by its own set of unwritten rules or Ordnung. The Old Order Amish are the most rigorous of them all. One way that the Old Order Amish punish members who have been disobedient to the community and God is by shunning. Shunning is defined as “to avoid somebody or something intentionally” (Shun, 2007). Shunning is not meant to injure an individual, but merely to wound them. It is an attempt for redemption. If an individual repents they will be allowed back into the patronage. It is only in extreme cases where an individual continuously breaks the rules where they may be permanently shunned. There are usually a very low percentage of Amish who are excommunicated. Because the community is so closely netted, shunning has proven to be a great form of social control. In the minds of many Old Orders, not every aspect of life and thought was negotiable. During the 1890’s an important debate erupted in the church regarding the practice of excommunication and shunning. The doctrine of Christian avoidance of unrepentant…