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Maria Kordonchik SOC101 Amish Society Amish people, known for their lifestyle and religious beliefs, have

been living in secluded communities for over two centuries now. What makes them different from other cults existing around the United States is that they consider a way of living [to be] more important than communicating it (the religion) in words. The way Amish people live, contributes to the structure of their society and at the same time forms certain social patterns within it. As in many other communities, the beliefs of people shape the structure of their society. Amish people live very differently than the rest of the country. Like most folk societies, they are uncomfortable with the idea of change. A lot of the habits that can be seen in their lives are similar to those people exhibited in the 19th century. This kind of lifestyle creates a tightly knit community, where every member takes care of one another. Planting and harvesting is major part of the Amish religion. It brings the community closer together. Families farm together, and grow crops for the whole family as well as for the whole community. Since Amish do not utilize any modern inventions, most of the work is done with hand-made tools, from natural materials. This is because a great part of the Amish religion is connecting to nature by making use of what already exists, rather than altering the surroundings. By following this belief, Amish blend their religion and custom into a way of life.

Living in small communities and having the same beliefs, makes Amish into a commonwealth. The members of the communities claim to be ruled by the law of love and redemption. This point of view on life is a part religion and tradition blended together. The Amish people are very sensitive about the welfare of each other. Each member feels comfortable living within the community knowing that someone will always be there to help them. Although Amish are very distant and different from the modern society,, these differences do not bother them, because no matter what the members of the community are there to support each others belifs. The way children are raised in the Amish society, is also affected by the religion. Being uncomfortable with the idea of change, Amish raise their children to behave the same way they did, when they were young. The kind of toys and play are taught to the growing generations. Since Amish live in small communities, all the traditions and the sense of conformity are strongly preserved. Isolation from the rest of the world allows Amish to pass down their religion from generation to generation. Not only is the religion based on the Bible sacred, but the customs followed for centuries become sacred as well. Any daily activities like agriculture, budgeting, and raising kids become strongly affected by the teachings. Personal values like work ethics, ones place in life, the meaning of life and the conception of the universe also become critical aspects of the overall pattern created by the religion. The Amish society presents us with a kind of society where religion has taken over all the aspects of life and turned them into something highly respected and even sacred. The

Amish religion creates the core values for the whole community, and ensures the continuous following of the established believes.