2 responses to How many types of Amish are there?
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    Matt Santos
    But I think a more informative answer can be found? (May 9th, 2013 at 09:30)

    But I think a more informative answer can be found?

    Like many topics, a simple question leads to a complicated answer. However, after reading about organization, affiliation and fellowship, with a level of detail incomprehensible to a person who would ask such a question, I’m left with an answer like, “it’s complicated.”

    Perhaps we can find a way to address the original answer a little better. Since the question is likely from someone outside of the community, try taking their perspective (the way they view things) into consideration.

    Can Amish communities be classified in other less official ways that make sense to those around them? How do they dress? Are there certain aspects of their behavior that an outsider can pick up on easily? Are there aspects to their beliefs and behavior that in general terms even insiders immediately identify with or distance themselves from? To an outsider, the minute details that split communities are really not that important – it is the big stuff like “those Amish drive cars, while those only use animals to plow their fields – there must be at least two types of Amish.”

    Any attempt to classify people will be imprecise and may offend or upset the people that are being classified. However, raising the level of understanding and perhaps comfort of those who are seeking this information is, I believe, a good thing. I believe that is the mission of this blog.

    • Matt for more detail you might try some of the in-text links above, such as this one, which explains affiliation, district, etc: http://amishamerica.com/how-are-amish-communities-organized/

      Also recommended are some of the resources noted, for instance An Amish Paradox which discusses diversity in Holmes County, Ohio. I can also recommend a new book coming out next month titled simply The Amish (Kraybill, Nolt, Johnson-Weiner) which has an entire chapter on the different affiliations and actually tallies the many different Amish groups.

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