Conference to focus on Amish and their neighbors

The Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies The Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies

The Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania will host a conference June 2-4 on interactions between Amish communities and the wider society.

“The Amish and Their Neighbors” will focus on areas such as public health, government regulation, business and economic development, charitable work, land use and environmental issues, tourism and civic involvement.

Carl Desportes Bowman, director of survey research at the University of Virginia’s Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, will give a keynote address about how 21st-century American culture pertains to the Amish.

Other presenters include Jeanette Harder, professor of social work at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, on Plain communities and foster care and adoption; Rachel E. Stein, associate professor of sociology at West Virginia University, on relationships between public health officials and the Amish amid COVID; and Kyle Kopko, director of the Center for Rural Pennsylvania, on Old Order Amish voter participation in the 2004, 2016 and 2020 presidential elections.

“The population growth and geographic spread of Amish and other Plain Anabaptist groups make the topics presented and discussed at this conference critically important,” said Steve Nolt, interim director of the Young Center. “Today, there are more Amish living in new places with neighbors who have not previously interacted with Plain people. This development means new relationships are forming, and, in some cases, potential misunderstandings are surfacing.”

More information is at

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