I’d like to draw your attention to an online event happening tomorrow: A Conversation about Amish Women with Karen Johnson-Weiner. This is hosted by the Young Center at Elizabethtown College, and open to anyone with an internet connection. Karen will be speaking with Young Center Senior Scholar Steven Nolt on Karen’s new book, The Lives of Amish Women.

Thursday, October 8, 2020 • 7:00 pm (Eastern)

Join us for a conversation with Karen M. Johnson-Weiner, author of the new book The Lives of Amish Women (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020). Johnson-Weiner will share her research and findings, which grow out of 35 years of fieldwork.

Johnson-Weiner is distinguished service professor emerita at State University of New York-Potsdam, the author of Train Up a Child: Old Order Amish and Mennonite Schools and New York Amish: Life in the Plain Communities of the Empire State, and the coauthor of The Amish.

You can access the event at this link. Note: If you don’t have Zoom installed, you may need to download it first. You can do that at that link ahead of time to be ready.

On Amish Women

As a little preview, here’s an excerpt from an interview Karen did with North Country Public Radio:

Church communities value motherhood and families, yet some women, even in conservative communities, have remained unmarried. Johnson-Weiner writes of one woman who said she’d get married if her salvation depended on it, but it doesn’t, so she prefers to stay single. Another woman said that a few men have tried to pursue her and she liked one of them pretty well, but not enough to spend her life with him, she said.

“No one’s going to force her to get married. They’re going to be just fine and they’re going to be accepted. There are very independent Amish women.”

“Married women who don’t have children are not the norm. Single women are not the norm. In many respects, she’s an extra. I’m not saying she’s not useful, welcomed or loved, but she’s not a wife or mother. They have to find a place for themselves in a community that’s set up for couples with children.”

They contribute to the economic health of their communities by acting as surrogate mothers by employing kids.

“I want people to appreciate the Amish for who and what they are: a people devoted to raising their families and building strong communities, and being good neighbors.

“They’re going to speak a different language. They’re going to dress different. Their children may not understand. I’d like people to appreciate those differences. They’re determined not to be like us, but they’re hopeful that they can make a contribution.”

We’ll also be doing a Q-and-A and giveaway with Karen on The Lives of Amish Women later this month, so stay tuned for that. I’m sure the Zoom event will be worth tuning in for. I always enjoy hearing what Karen has to say.

Thursday October 8th ~ 7pm EST ~ Karen Johnson-Weiner speaks with Steven Nolt on The Lives of Amish Women

Access link: https://etown.zoom.us/j/99268046393

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