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On the Backroad to Heaven is a unique guidebook to the world of Old Order Anabaptist groups. Focusing on four Old Order communities-the Hutterites, Mennonites, Amish, and Brethren-Donald B. Kraybill and Carl Desportes Bowman provide a fascinating overview of their culture, growth, and distinctive way of life. Following a general introduction to Old Order culture, they show how each group uses a different strategy to create and sustain its identity. The Hutterites, for example, keep themselves geographically segregated from the larger society, whereas the Brethren interact more freely with it. The Amish and Mennonites are more alike in how they engage the outside world, adopting a complex but flexible strategy of compromise that produces an evolving canon of social and religious rules. This first comparative study sketches the differences as well as the common threads that bind these groups together.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780801870897
ISBN-10: 0801870895
Format: Paperback
(233mm x 165mm x 26mm)
Pages: 352
Imprint: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publish Date: 30-Sep-2002
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Donald B. Kraybill

Donald B. Kraybill is Distinguished College Professor and Senior Fellow in the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College, Pennsylvania. Widely recognized for his work on Anabaptist groups, he has authored and edited many books, including The Riddle of Amish Culture and The Amish and the State, both available from Johns Hopkins. Carl Desportes Bowman is a professor and chair of the Department of Sociology at Bridgewater College. Nationally recognized for his scholarship and publications on Brethren groups, he is the author of Brethren Society: The Cultural Transformation of a Peculiar People, also available from Johns Hopkins.

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