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A Sociological description of the Amish as a religious group

Write a sociological description of a religious group that you know well or are interested in researching. Your description should include a discussion of how the religious group illustrates the six elements of the definition of a religion, the religious form, religious socialization processes of the group, and its type of organization. Also address how the group relates to social and political issues and tendencies toward racial prejudice, homophobia, anti-Semitism, or other forms of intolerance.

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The Amish People & their Faith

To understand the Amish as a religious group, one must understand their view about the world and their place (as well as that of humanity), in it. It would seem that today, the Amish appear as some kind of religious curiosity, a splinter sub-group who seem stuck in the perspectives and ways of religious migrants to the New World in the American colonial days. What is central in the Amish way of life is their faith, and their religion, a sect of the Christian fate descended from established Anabaptism. They are a Protestant group mostly living in Pennsylvania and nearby states. Like the Quakers, they came to the Colonies to avoid religious persecution and establish what they determined as the 'New Zion' - a community centered and based on their religious beliefs. They believe that their old-way of life - separation from technology and a close relationship to labor, the earth and nature is intrinsic in the practice of their faith. Through American-Amish history, one stout factor remains - the Amish social structure is deeply rooted in religion and tradition that their lives, values and actions revolve around it - to practice their beliefs is part of each individual member's identity, indoctrinated from childhood and continuous life experience.

The Ordnung - a set of oral and written rules governs the Amish faith and dictates what it means to be Amish including clothing, behaviour, home design, cooking practices, farming practice, social relations (including that with the 'outside' world) and attitudes towards the outside world. The Amish ...

Solution Summary

The solution presents a 921-word discussion of the Amish Sect with a particular focus on what governs their religious views and way of life. The six elements that defines a religious group is included in this discussion as well. References are listed for further research. A word version of the solution is attached for easy printing.