Monday, 5 June 2017

Primer on the Amish

Sarasota residents are used to the sight of Amish men and woman as they ride their tricycles in the Pinecraft area, especially in the winter


Many of we Sarasotans, alongside people from other places view them as quaint, anachronistic, somewhat alien - but a good tourist attraction.

Others see them as the ideal Christians, living the  plain and uncluttered lives for which we sometimes yearn.

We know little about their history, and can be easily confused about the various Amish groups, and the differences between Amish and Mennonite people.

Lazy thinkers see Amish as "exotic Quakers", or Hutterites, or Moravian Christians.


I was fortunate enough to take a four session course titled "Amish Customs and Practices" at Sarasota's  Suncoast Technical College.  It was taught by a local resident J.B,.Miller who was born into an Amish family - though he himself was never baptised into the Amish Church. J.B. Miller knows more about the Amish and Mennonites than many of us know abut our own religious traditions.

J.B. Miller disabused us of  many myths and misconceptions about the Amish in his honest and gentle presentations.

He recommend the following book

Published by Johns Hopkins  University Press 2015 $16.95

Thanks to a birthday gift of a Barnes and Noble Gift Card I was able to purchase the book.  I recommend it without reservation.  It is scholarly. honest and utterly accessible. Do not sound off about the Amish until you have read it!.

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