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Against the Wind: Eberhard Arnold and the Bruderhof Paperback – May 1, 1998

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 310 pages
  • Publisher: The Plough Publishing House (May 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0874869536
  • ISBN-13: 978-0874869538
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #696,803 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Baum, a youth conference speaker and host of a young adults' radio program, provides an engaging biography of a revolutionary Christian in early 20th-century Germany. Inspired by religious vision and forced by his father to study theology, Arnold moved increasingly away from the state church, inspired an antibourgeois youth movement, and founded a community based on "common table, community of goods, communal work" but dedicated to marriage and to children. Arnold also influenced Barth, Tillich, and Buber and opposed Hitler. He is hence an important figure for both historians and scholars of contemporary religious thought, but this first biography on him is accessible and enjoyable reading for general audiences as well. Recommended for public, seminary, and academic libraries.ACarolyn M. Craft, Longwood Coll., Farmville,
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.


A fine introduction to Eberhard Arnold and the courageous ministry of the Bruderhof. A wave of appreciation for Arnold and the Christian tradition he so forcefully and eloquently represents is long over due. --Harvey Cox, Harvard University Divinity School

An amazing and enlightening spiritual journey. --ALA Booklist

Arnold is a significant figure of faith in the twentieth century. His vision and commitment to discipleship, community, nonviolence, and God's kingdom challenge all who seek to follow Jesus. --Jim Wallis, Sojourners, from the Foreword

Arnold's life reads like that of a modern Saint Francis: the deep love of Jesus, the commitment to living the Gospel literally, the struggle with his parents, his going off to war, followed by a profound conversion to nonviolent love and his founding of the Bruderhof Community... Like Saint Francis, Arnold let Christ teach him what he was to do. The example of their lives challenge us to do the same. --Fr. Murray Bodo, O.F.M.

Eberhard Arnold's life is an example of the most precious gift we can offer others: our presence. His is a testimony that in community the Spirit, which can be found in all traditions, can enlighten us as to the real causes for social injustice. We all, Buddhist and Christian alike, need to create more such communities. --Thich Nhat Hanh, author, Love in Action

I was edified and enlightened by this extraordinary life. I took heart, reading of Arnold's tormented struggle and conversion to nonviolence...Pondering his witness is like holding a mirror to reality. We see there our calling, the church, the promise of a costly freedom. --Daniel Berrigan, SJ

Some claim that the Sermon on the Mount cannot be literally applied to modern life. This inspiring biography of Eberhard Arnold is a convincing rebuttal. This twentieth century apostle truly lived the Gospel; his story inspires us all to do the same. --Robert Ellsberg, author, All Saints

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "joemck" on March 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book will be significant for those who want to learn more about the life of Arnold and the spirit that moved him. To my knowledge this is the first biography of Arnold written by a non-Bruderhof author. I like Baum's fresh perspective.Orbis Press has also just come out with another fine book entitled Eberhard Arnold that readers of this book should look at. It is part of their Spiritual Masters series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Arthur Sido on March 1, 2012
Format: Paperback
Against The Wind is the biography of Eberhard Arnold, the primary founder of the Hutterite group known the Bruderhof. Against the Wind is available without charge from Plough Publishing in e-reader or PDF format here, something I appreciate. The Bruderhof are an Anabaptist group modeled in large part on the Hutterites. They are an outworking of the study of Eberhard Arnold, a brilliant German theologian from the later 19th/early 20th century. Against the Wind tells the fascinating story of this man who was equal parts servant, theologian and visionary.

Eberhard Arnold was a German theologian who took the rare step of taking his theological study and putting it into practice. Born in 1883, he lived in a tumultuous time for Germany, from the turn of the century to the first World War and the early days of the rise of Nazism. Coming from an educated family of privilege and social standing he eventually died as the leader of a group that practiced community of goods and rarely had much to eat. While he benefitted enormously from the educational opportunities afforded him by his upbringing and always seemed to value education, as he grew and matured he seemed to shed much of what the world considers important for a Christ-centered life. During his life he got to know many other famous theologians from Karl Barth to Dietrich Bonhoefffer and had a marked impact of theological life in Germany. He is one of the most important theologians you have never heard of. Maybe Eric Metaxes can do a bio on him!

Arnold was not a man without flaws and I appreciate that while this is definitely a friendly biography, areas where Arnold made mistakes are not glossed over. Notably Eberhard was caught up in German enthusiasm and nationalism in the run up to and during the first World War.
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