An insider’s perspective into how a small community of Amish people, nurtured in a religious tradition of nonviolence and forgiveness, transformed into a culture of revenge and retaliation.
Digs deep into a story that, for all its seeming quaintness, has the power to both rock the underpinnings of hate crime legislation and to break the human heart.
Kraybill tells this fascinating story clearly, and has the knowledge and contacts to penetrate a tight-lipped community.
An acknowledged expert on Amish life and culture, [Kraybill] explains the religious and social background of the people involved and successfully explains the legal tangle that has not yet completely played out. This book will be of interest to those who study the intersection of law and religion or the sociology of closed groups like the Amish.
A thorough, evenhanded, and accessible volume that provides keen insight on Amish culture.
Captures a fascinating chapter of legal history and Amish history... [This] is a tale begging to be told, and Kraybill proves worthy of the task.
Whether you want to learn more about the Amish in general, the Bergholz Amish in particular, are interested in the formation and maintenance of NRMs, interactions between religious groups and the law, or just want to read an informative book that is exceedingly well researched and written, balanced, and engaging, Renegade Amish is most definitely worth reading.
The apparent dissonance in these opening narratives and the peculiar nature of Amish acting violently to shear helpless victims sets the scene for Kraybill’s fascinating exploration of the Bergholz Amish... The case has taken on new significance as the court system works to decide how people will be prosecuted under the Shepherd Byrd act and how broadly hate crimes can be defined.
By shedding light on the ways in which the Bergholz group perverted ‘Amishness,’ Donald Kraybill—the leading scholar of Amish society—demonstrates his ability to sensitively analyze and explain Anabaptist culture to a broad audience. There are no other books that tackle this subject. As enthralling as true crime, Renegade Amish will also appeal to Anabaptist, religious, and legal studies scholars.
In his deeply researched and vividly written account, Donald Kraybill not only chillingly reconstructs what happened during a series of Amish-on-Amish beard-cutting attacks that culminated in a precedent-setting federal criminal trial, he also tackles the how and why one group of Amish was transformed into a band of renegades.
Donald Kraybill’s book is a lively, beautifully written account of the beard-cutting attacks in the Amish community of eastern Ohio. With sensitivity and impeccable scholarship, Kraybill sheds light on why this happened and what lessons about religious freedom this strange case holds for the Amish—and for us all.
1. The Attacks
2. The Clan
3. The Bishop
4. The Cult?
5. The FBI
6. The Trial
7. The Sentencing
8. The Aftermath