The Hutterites in North America

Front Cover
JHU Press, Jul 18, 2010 - Religion - 400 pages

One of the longest-lived communal societies in North America, the Hutterites have developed multifaceted communitarian perspectives on everything from conflict resolution and decision-making practices to standards of living and care for the elderly. This compellingly written book offers a glimpse into the complex and varied lives of the nearly 500 North American Hutterite communities.

North American Hutterites today number around 50,000 and have common roots with and beliefs akin to the Amish and other Old Order Christians. This historical analysis and anthropological investigation draws on existing research, primary sources, and over 25 years of the authors' interaction with Hutterite communities to recount the group's physical and spiritual journey from its 16th-century founding in Eastern Europe and its near disappearance in Transylvania in the 1760s to its late 19th-century transplantation to North America and into the modern era. It explains how the Hutterites found creative ways to manage social and economic changes over more than five centuries while holding to the principles and cultural values embedded in their faith.

Religious scholars, anthropologists, and historians of America and the Anabaptist faiths will find this objective-yet-appreciative account of the Hutterites' distinct North American culture to be a valuable and fascinating study both of the religion and of a viable alternative to modern-day capitalism.

 

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Contents

CHAPTER 1 Communal Christians in North America
1
CHAPTER 2 Origins and History
12
CHAPTER 3 Immigration and Settlement in North America
33
CHAPTER 4 Four Hutterite Branches
54
CHAPTER 5 Beliefs and Practices
76
CHAPTER 6 Life Patterns and Rites of Passage
108
CHAPTER 7 Identity Tradition and Folk Beliefs
138
CHAPTER 8 Education and Cultural Continuity
179
CHAPTER 11 Managing Technology and Social Change
259
CHAPTER 12 Relationships with NonHutterites
273
CHAPTER 13 Facing the Future
295
Hutterite Colonies in North America 2009
307
Glossary
321
Notes
325
Bibliography
347
Index
363

CHAPTER 9 Colony Structure Governance and Economics
197
CHAPTER 10 Population Demography and Defection
234

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About the author (2010)

Rod Janzen is a Distinguished Scholar and a professor of history and social science education at Fresno Pacific University. He is the author of The Fall and Rise of Synanon, also published by Johns Hopkins. Max Stanton is a professor of anthropology and geography at Brigham Young University, Hawaii. He has been writing about Hutterites since 1988.