Tag Archives: Anabaptists

The Amish in the Market: Competing against the Odds?

This article connects the economics-of-religion approach with Anabaptist Studies by putting the market at the center of analysis. I will explore two methodological perspectives: first, how religion influences Amish economic development and second, how economic principles determine church growth. I argue that Amish history supports the premise that religion can influence economic development in modern competitive markets. At the same time, I will challenge the assertion that market principles shape the growth of Amish religious communities.

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Sanctifying Leisure: Volunteer Tourism among America’s Amish-Mennonites

Do America’s plain Anabaptists take vacations? At first glance, it seems unlikely that an austere Christian sect would endorse spending large amounts of money on short excursions of pure leisure. Indeed, in a 1930s household expenditures survey that included Amish homes in Lancaster County, PA, Amish were more defined by their non-expenditures on leisure than today’s familiar indicators, such as technological restrictions (Reschly). And yet, vacationing is now routine among many plain Anabaptists. In this study, we explain the phenomenon of Amish-Mennonite international vacationing. The Amish-Mennonites are a branch within the greater Amish religious tradition. They represent the Amish who have chosen to blend evangelical Protestant theology into separatist communalism. They have also reduced the number and severity of norms regarding symbols and social mechanisms of separation, including convenience-oriented technologies and distinctive dress (Anderson, “Beachy Amish-Mennonite”).

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