Tag Archives: short-term mission trip

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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