- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (March 22, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0470344040
- ISBN-13: 978-0470344040
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 178 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #240,011 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy 1st Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. When a gunman killed five Amish children and injured five others last fall in a Nickel Mines, Pa., schoolhouse, media attention rapidly turned from the tragic events to the extraordinary forgiveness demonstrated by the Amish community. The authors, who teach at small colleges with Anabaptist roots and have published books on the Amish, were contacted repeatedly by the media after the shootings to interpret this subculture. In response to the questions why—and how—did they forgive? Kraybill and his colleagues present a compelling study of Amish grace. After describing the heartbreaking attack and its aftermath, the authors establish that forgiveness is embedded in Amish society through five centuries of Anabaptist tradition, and grounded in the firm belief that forgiveness is required by the New Testament. The community's acts of forgiveness were not isolated decisions by saintly individuals but hard-won countercultural practices supported by all aspects of Amish life. Common objections to Amish forgiveness are addressed in a chapter entitled, What About Shunning? The authors carefully distinguish between forgiveness, pardon and reconciliation, as well as analyzethe complexities of mainstream America's response and the extent to which the Amish example can be applied elsewhere. This intelligent, compassionate and hopeful book is a welcome addition to the growing literature on forgiveness. (Sept. 21)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
*Starred Review* The crimeshooting innocent schoolchildren in a one-room schoolhousewas shockingly vicious. More shocking, virtually incredible, was where it happened, in the heart of Pennsylvania's Amish country, commonly associated with bucolic tranquility, not gun violence. This remarkable book explains, exceedingly well, Amish reaction to the horrific Nickel Mines shootings. The outside world was gravely taken aback by the Amish response of forgiveness. Some in the media criticized the Amish as naive and hypocritical (didn't they shun members of their own community?), but most simply couldn't understand the Amish concept of forgiveness as unmerited gift. How could they forgive humanly embodied evil? The authors, all authorities on Amish culture, emphasize that the Amish response reflected the sect's heritage and deeply embedded faith. They distinguish forgiveness from pardon and reconciliation. Forgiveness relinquishes the right to vengeance, while pardon forfeits punishment altogether, and reconciliation restores the relationship of victim and offender or creates a new one. They discuss the shooting mercifully straightforwardly before exploring the broader perspectives of forgiveness and concluding with reflections on the meaning of forgiveness. At times difficult to read, this anguished and devastating account of a national tragedy and a hopeful, life-affirming lesson in how to live is itself a marvel of grace. Sawyers, June --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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After playing around with a few other books, nothing really satisfying, I came across Amish Grace, and saw that Kraybill had written it, and so bought it expecting what happened: a great book. Kraybill obviously wrote this book before he (and company) wrote THE AMISH. In fact, Amish Grace's appendix is a VERY condensed format of The Amish book. Enough about that book though, Amish Grace is a really good read.
Reading it, some of the time I wondered if the chapter structure was too loose, as in, "Okay, I know this is in some ways, about Amish and forgiveness, but what does this have to do about Nickel Mines?" If you feel that way, know that in the end Kraybill and co. bring it around to say, "Now that you've learned this, here's how it applies to what happened at Nickel Mines." I know and have heard that there is a Lifetime movie about this incident, and I have yet to see it, and don't know if I will. If I did, it would be purely for entertainment purposes, but even then
(1) Watching a movie about people who don't watch TV doesn't seem right
(2) Watching a movie to be entertained through the horrible tragedy that took place at Nickel Mines also doesn't seem right.
Being an evangelical Christian Pastor, I learned a lot and was edified a lot by Kraybill and co.'s deep investigation into Amish Grace and what forgiveness is as the Amish see it, and as the Bible explains it. If you are curious about the whys, the suspected hypocrisies, or even the skepticism and doubt about the Amish and their forgiveness of this horrible tragedy, Kraybill, I believe, offers satisfying answers here.
If you just want to take a study into what forgiveness is, this is a great place to study. Kraybill pulls no punches too, he will list chapter and verse that the Amish go to for their understanding of forgiveness. No matter if you're a Christian or not, or if you have a soft spot, or a skeptical spot for the Amish, this book ought to re-orient your thinking when considering how to respond to tragedies. I highly recommend it, and though I bought the Kindle version, I instantly bought a physical copy so I can share it.
I recently visited old friends in Bird-in-Hand itself, German emigrants and their children, who now live side-by-side with Amish. And I visited the rather new Young Center fo the Study of the Amish and the Anabaptists, where Don Kraybill is a professor. It is an institute that welcomes graduate students who are working on the topic. This year they are expecting an Israeli student who wants to make a comparison of Jewish Orthodox and Amish ways.
The book also gives some insight into the problematic custom of "shunning" wayward members of the community, yet also their commitment to peace but also non-participation in worldly politics.
The book is regarded by the local community as excellent.
Most recent customer reviews
greatest admiration for the people. I hope they never change.