More Than Forty Amish Affiliations? Charting the Fault Lines

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The Amish are notoriously difficult to chart in terms of affiliations. However, defining affiliations is important to researchers: as a suitable measurement of conservatism, as a useful context for making sense of a particular district or settlement, for tracing socio-religious change over time, and for depicting both the unity and diversity that characterize contemporary Amish socio-ecclesiastical life. Until recently, scholars followed John Hostetler's definition of an affiliation as a group of church districts that fellowship together and share a common Ordnung. But in The Amish, Donald Kraybill, Karen Johnson-Weiner, and Steven Nolt offer an entirely new definition of an affiliation as a cluster of two or more districts with at least twenty years of shared history. They conclude that there are at least 40 Amish affiliations. I argue against this haphazard fragmentation, identifying six major affiliations and a handful of outliers. I then apply my traditional-modified model to several scenarios to demonstrate the model's utility.



Amish affiliations, Amish denominations, New New Order Amish, New Order Christian Fellowship, New Order Amish, Old Order Amish, Andy Weaver Amish, Kenton Amish, Swartzentruber Amish, Kraybill, Johnson-Weiner, and Nolt The Amish, Holmes County, Ohio, Adams County, Indiana


Journal of Amish and Plain Anabaptist Studies v. 5, no. 1 (2017), p. 120-142.