Standard Article


  1. Alvin J. Schmidt

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc0037

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Schmidt, A. J. 2011. Amish. The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


Recognizing that not all Amish are the same, this article focuses on the Old Order Amish. Its members are largely a North American group of Christians, an off-shoot of the Mennonites who are descendants of Europe's Anabaptists of the 16th century. The Amish are named after Jacob Ammann, a Swiss Mennonite bishop who broke away from the Mennonites in 1693 to form the Old Order Amish. He wanted to take people back to what he thought his Mennonite forebears believed and practiced. For one, he believed that Mennonites in his day were not strict enough with those who did not always follow the practices and customs that good Mennonites were expected to uphold. He also argued that the Mennonites were too lenient in exercising the practice of Meidung, a practice that socially ostracizes (shuns) members who break church laws. It is based on Romans 16:17 and I Corinthians 5:9–13.


  • old order amish;
  • North American group of christians;
  • Jacob Ammann;
  • Swiss mennonite bishop;
  • mennonite forebears;
  • practicing;
  • one-room Amish schools;
  • all singing;
  • a cappella;
  • not going beyond eighth grade;
  • gelassenheit;
  • willful submission to authority;
  • infant baptism;
  • rejected;
  • self-denial;
  • contentment