A new edition of the The Journal of Plain Anabaptist Communities has been released. The Journal is published twice yearly and is available for free online. As the title suggests, it covers all manner of research subjects pertaining to Amish, Plain Mennonites, and other Anabaptist peoples. Check out the latest issue here, or the full archives here.
So what’s in the latest edition? This intro, by journal co-editors Joseph Donnermeyer and Steven Nolt, will explain:
Exciting news! Volume 3, issue 2 of the Journal of Plain Anabaptist Communities is now released. JPAC is the free online journal co-sponsored by the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies, Elizabethtown College, PA, the Amish and Mennonite Heritage Center (Behalt), Berlin, OH, and The Ohio State University Libraries, Columbus, Ohio. Of special note is that JPAC now enjoys the support and collaboration of a fourth partner – this very website – Amish America.
This new issue starts off with a detailed demographic profile of the Amish in the Greater Lancaster County settlement, by one of the co-editors of this journal, Joseph Donnermeyer. Donnermeyer is a Professor Emeritus from the School of Environment and Natural Resources at The Ohio State University.
Karen Johnson-Weiner discusses what she has learned about Amish society and family life from her correspondence with Amish women. Karen is not only a co-author of “The Amish” (2013) with Don Kraybill and Steven Nolt, but published in 2020 “The Lives of Amish Women” in the Young Center Books in Anabaptist and Pietist Studies series, published through The Johns Hopkins University Press. Currently, she is a Distinguished Service Professor of Anthropology Emerita the State University of New York, Potsdam.
Tony Walsh, Director of the Centre for the Study of Irish Protestantism, along with his colleagues Jeff Back, Director of the Young Center Emeritus, and Sam Funkhauser, Executive Director of the Brethren & Mennonite Heritage Center, present part 1 of a detailed discussion about the distinctiveness of the Old German Baptist Brethren. Volume 4, issue 1 will include part 2 of their narrative about how the OGBB are “plain but different.”
Rachel Rohrbaugh is the archivist for the High Library at Elizabethtown College, in charge of the Hess Archives and special collections. Her article focuses on the results of a survey of researchers she conducted on who studies the Amish and other Plain groups.
A special feature of this issue is the publication of three plenary addresses from the June, 2022 multidisciplinary conference held at the Young Center. The theme of that conference was “The Amish and Their Neighbors”, with this motif reflected in all three addresses.
Carl Bowman, from the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia discusses the values of mainstream America, that is, of non-Amish as neighbors to the Amish.
Kyle Kopko, Adjunct Professor of Political Science at Elizabethtown College and Director of the Center for Rural Pennsylvania, a legislative agency of the Pennsylvania General Assembly. He examines Old Order Amish voter participation in the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections and of strategies to encourage their voting national elections.
Rachel Stein’s plenary address discusses Amish beliefs and experiences with past pandemics, such as polio and measles, and vaccines developed to protect populations against their health threats, and their implications for Amish reactions to the Covid-19 pandemic. Rachel Stein is an Associate Professor of Sociology at West Virginia University where she works with a team of colleagues on issues associated with Amish society and social change.
Rounding out Volume 3, Issue 2 are reviews of two recently published books. Susan Trollinger, a Professor English at the University of Dayton, discusses Dirk Eitzen’s “Fooling with the Amish: Amish Mafia, Entertaining Fakery, and the Evolution of Reality TV.” Dirk Eitzen is both a documentary filmmaker and Professor of Film and Media Studies at Franklin & Marshall College, located in Lancaster County, PA.
A trio of reviewers examine Lindsay Ems “Virtually Amish: Preserving Community at the Internet’s Margins.” Lindsay Ems is an Assistant Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Butler University, located in Indianapolis, Indiana. The reviewers approach her book from three distinctive perspectives, reflecting their diverse backgrounds.
Gerald Mast is a Professor of Communication at Bluffton University, Bluffton, Ohio. Benuel Riehl is a member of an Old Order church in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, former owner of a small business and now working at a large hardware store. Erik Wesner is the creator of this site – “Amish America” – and the author of Success Made Simple: An Inside Look at Why Amish Businesses Thrive.
To read or register for JPAC, go to https://plainanabaptistjournal.org. Simply click on the “Register” link at top, and in less than two minutes, the task is complete.