Class Information for Fall 2020: AMISH HISTORY AND BELIEFS, Tuesdays, October 6 and 13, 1:00-2:30pm; via Zoom F101
Tuesday, October 6, David Weaver-Zercher, “An Overview of Amish Life”. Who are the Amish, and what makes them so unique? Why do they live such countercultural lives, and what do they think about us? In this illustrated lecture, Prof. David Weaver-Zercher answers the commonly asked questions about Amish life and gives you the opportunity to ask your own. Tuesday, October 13, Steven Nolt, “The Surprising Diversity of Amish Life”. From a distance, Amish life can appear uniform and unchanging. In fact, Amish life is dynamic and varied. The shift away from farming, for example, has brought changes to many Amish communities in recent decades. In this illustrated lecture, Prof. Steven Nolt will explain some of the sources of Amish diversity and introduce the variety that marks today’s Amish world, which includes 350,000 people across 31 U.S. states and four Canadian provinces. The presentation offer opportunity for questions. Instructors Steve Nolt and David Weaver-Zercher: Steve Nolt, Ph.D., Notre Dame is professor of history and Anabaptist studies at Elizabethtown College, and senior scholar at the college’s Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies. The author or coauthor of fourteen books on Amish, Mennonite, and Pennsylvania German history and contemporary life, Nolt is widely recognized for his scholarship on Anabaptist groups across North America. His Amish-related research has taken him into several dozen settlements across seven states and Ontario, and has focused on settlement formation and history, economic and social change, and the role of technology in Amish life. Instructor David L. Weaver-Zercher is professor of American religious history at Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania. He received his Ph.D. in religion from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1997. Weaver-Zercher’s writing has focused on outsiders’ perspectives and portrayals of the Amish. His books in that area include The Amish in the American Imagination (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001); Writing the Amish: The Worlds of John A. Hostetler (Penn State University Press, 2005); and a co-edited volume with Diane Zimmerman Umble, The Amish and the Media (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008).