Exam 2 - With a Word; Amish, Protestant Fundamentalism, and...

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With a Word; Amish, Protestant Fundamentalism, and Modern American Culture In the modern culture of America, the individual and individual achievements are the most important aspects in the strong capitalist society. Whether it is breaking a home run record, winning an award at the academy awards, or becoming the CEO of a strong company, the individual is the most recognizable and most heralded being of modern culture. Therefore, through the importance of the individual in America, individualism is the best word to ‘sum up’ modern American culture. Throughout the education of American children, students are encouraged to find their own individual identity and to develop that identity. Finding one’s own individual path is perhaps the most important thing in an American’s life. Individualism is a defining factor in the culture of modern America, especially with the advancement in transportation and communication. Neighbors are more commonly becoming strangers and sense of community is becoming more of a group of individuals rather than just a group. Individualism, however, would never be a word used to ‘sum up’ two American religious groups: the Amish and the Protestant Fundamentalists. In The Riddle of Amish Culture , Donald Kraybill claims that the solution to the riddle of Amish culture is found in the German word Gelassenheit . Rarely used in speech, Gelassenheit is roughly translated to mean ‘submitting, yielding to a higher authority’ with a variety of specific meanings: “self- surrender, resignation to God’s will, yielding to God and to others, self-denial, contentment, a calm spirit.” (Kraybill, 29). The culture of the Amish embodies many values defined in the meaning of Gelassenheit
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Exam 2 - With a Word; Amish, Protestant Fundamentalism, and...

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