On the Backroad to Heaven: Old Order Hutterites, Mennonites, Amish, and Brethren

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JHU Press, Sep 3, 2002 - Religion - 352 pages
4 Reviews

On the Backroad to Heaven is a unique guide 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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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - xuebi - LibraryThing

On the Backroad to Heaven is a fascinating comparative study of four Old Order religious groups: Amish, Old Order Mennonites, Hutterites and Brethren, providing an overview of the culture, growth ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - eddieclem - LibraryThing

Donald Kraybill does not let us down again as this well-known scholar leads the reader down the "backroad to heaven," introducing us to the worlds of the Hutterites, Amish, Mennonites, and Old German Baptist Brethren. Very well written! Read full review


The Old Road to Heaven
The Hutterites
The Mennonites
The Amish
The Brethren
Common Convictions
Four Roads to Heaven
Preserving a Pilgrim People
Ironies of a Postmodern Journey
Selected References

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About the author (2002)

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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