BY: Lori Burris
Instructor’s Name: Chad Goings
ANT 101: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (AVL1237D)
The Amish are religious separatists who dress plainly and avoid many convinces of modern life that you may know. The Amish are known widely for horses and buggies for transportation, they came to America in the eighteenth century from Switzerland. They evolved out if the Mennonite groups coming from the Anabaptist tradition. The Anabaptists urged a return to the New Testament Christianity with a rather literal interpretation of scripture, a congregational organization, with stern disposition or appearance, simplicity and minimal contact with the state.
The Amish isolate themselves from the secular world. Their clothing is made at home of plain fabrics without any designs they like to keep everything simple. Amish men were straight cut suits and coats without collars. The young men are to shave until they get married once they get married they are to grow beards without mustaches. The young ladies were solid color dresses with long sleeves, and covered with an apron. Their hair has to be covered with a cap or a black bonnet. They can’t were any patterns or jewelry. They stress separation and being pure. They maintain minimal contacts with non-Amish and attempt thus far to be self sufficient. They only socialize and marry their own and are not allowed any outside activity’s with others outside if the Amish community. Most Amish children attend a one or two room school house. Some people feel that the Amish schooling for their children is wrong because it restricts the individual from getting a good education but the Amish feel that a higher education can promote values out of their Christian values. The Amish children usually only attend school until the eighth grade. The Amish children usually learn history, geography, and the German language, and a limited amount of science. Some do send their children to public schools for various reasons. A few Amish home school their child but most send them to a local one room school house. The Amish to a very literal reading of Scripture which is read in and quoted in German (Hostetler, 1998, pp23-38). The Amish do not boast about their faith they assume those that worship god, obey the church, provide for their family and community will enjoy salvation. The Amish do not announce personal salvation like protestant churches do. The Amish embrace on a value system while rejecting dominant relativism. They contend that there is an objective truth, the rules are clear, and they can be ascertained. There is a right and wrong, truth and error, and moral and immoral. Although they feel that the correct path is narrow and difficult it can be accomplished with assistance from your faith community and grace. The value system rejects the contemporary materialism they view the world as a constant threat to the Amish community. The Amish separate themselves from other for a variety of religious beliefs often citing scripture verses in support of their beliefs. 1.) “Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14)
2.) “Come out from among them and be ye separate, said the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 6:17) 3.) “And be ye not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2 The Amish taught their children these scripture verses so that they would be separate from the world. They did have a time before they were baptized were they could go out into the world to experiment if you wanted to call it that. The Amish people call it rumspringa, Pennsylvania Deutsch for “running around.” They still have to listen to their beliefs, and rules of their parents, but a certain amount of experimenting is permitted and overlooked...