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On the Backroad to Heaven: Old Order Hutterites, Mennonites, Amish, and Brethren

by Donald B. Kraybill, Carl F. Bowman

Buy the book: Donald B. Kraybill. On the Backroad to Heaven: Old Order Hutterites, Mennonites, Amish, and Brethren

Release Date: April, 2001

Edition: Hardcover


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Buy the book: Donald B. Kraybill. On the Backroad to Heaven: Old Order Hutterites, Mennonites, Amish, and Brethren

All things considered, a decent work

As the subject line suggestions, I consider this is a fairly nice piece of work. The author does a good job of giving an overview of the four different Old Order groups covered in the book.

Though the author was slightly slanted in favor of some of the Old Orders (Brethren & Amish mainly), this book had neither the rose-colored fluff or scathing condemnation of other publications. There was a description of what worked, what didn't work, what was pious and what was wrong with all four groups.

I would like to have know more intricate detail of each of the group's theology rather than a few snippets of scriptural interpretation and comments from church fathers. I do, however, understand that this book is more of a sociological survey than a theological analysis.

The last few chapters did engage in a repetitious rehash of what has already been covered. I also did find a few typographic errors that didn't get caught by the editor.

Final analysis: If you are new to studying any of these groups, this could certainly would play as a good jumping-off point for further study. If you need to get a quick overview of the groups mentioned, this would also serve your purpose. A more thorough study, however, will require additional reading and research.

From Amazon.com

Lacking overall, but decent intro to 4 Old-Orders

I found the first few chapters interesting in which the authors profile each of the 4 featured Old-order groups. However, the editing was distracting because the same point was made multiple times in each chapter (in addition to a couple typos). The last couple chapters compare and contrast the 4 groups, but not much new is added I didn't already get in the first chapters. I wish they had touched upon the more progressive branches in each group, comparing Old-order to more modern counterparts, but there was almost no mention of them. Also, the few facts I did know about Old-Orders before reading this book were not discussed (if these are common misconceptions and not facts, they still deserve space in this book). I still give it 3 stars because I was very interested in the descriptions and brief histories of each group.

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