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Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended…

Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy (original 2007; edition 2007)

by Donald B. Kraybill, Steven M. Nolt, David L. Weaver-Zercher

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4491834,275 (4.08)22
Title:Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy
Authors:Donald B. Kraybill
Other authors:Steven M. Nolt, David L. Weaver-Zercher
Info:Jossey-Bass (2007), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 256 pages
Collections:Your library

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Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy by Donald B. Kraybill (2007)


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Ten years ago, a local milkman invaded an Amish schoolhouse and took hostages. Before the day was over, ten girls between the ages of six and thirteen had been shot. Five would die, and Charles Roberts committed suicide. As the world watched, at first in horror and then in amazement, the Amish responded to what became known as the Amish 9/11 with grace and forgiveness instead of rage and vengeance.

This is the story of how these grieving families responded together as a devoted Christian community. While many non-Amish observers admired the Amish for their strength and convictions, others criticized them. Did they forgive too quickly? Was their forgiveness authentic? The issues raised in this book illuminate the many different acts of grace that can be found in the most unexpected places.

The Bottom Line: Amish Grace is a book that inspires the reader to explore their faith. By recounting this tragic incident in the history of the Amish and exploring the acts of grace in the months that followed, the authors raise many questions. This is a story of forgiveness that has been shaped by the history and culture of the Amish. Recommended for clergy, historians, psychologists, and those interested in personal reflection and religion.

For the complete review including Book Club Notes, please visit the Mini Book Bytes Book Review Blog. ( )
  aya.herron | Nov 16, 2016 |
ok so i guess i am only going to read part one. i saw the movie so i got the book but only part one is the story of what happened with the Amish. the other 2 parts are about forgiveness and what it means and stuff. i will probably skim these sections. ( )
  kdf_333 | Jan 16, 2016 |
ok so i guess i am only going to read part one. i saw the movie so i got the book but only part one is the story of what happened with the Amish. the other 2 parts are about forgiveness and what it means and stuff. i will probably skim these sections. ( )
  kdf_333 | Jan 16, 2016 |
ok so i guess i am only going to read part one. i saw the movie so i got the book but only part one is the story of what happened with the Amish. the other 2 parts are about forgiveness and what it means and stuff. i will probably skim these sections. ( )
  kdf_333 | Jan 16, 2016 |
I picked this book up as part of a church group reading program, but I must admit that I chose it because I truly have a fascination with Amish life and culture. This book tackles the 2006 school shooting in the Nickel Mines Amish schoolhouse. On 2 October 2006, gunman Charles Roberts took ten young Amish girls hostage and opened fire on them shortly before killing himself. Five of the young girls died that day. The book deals with Amish forgiveness in the face of tragedy and the widespread media attention that their actions received. The authors attempt to give a thorough examination of the motivations behind forgiveness, while revealing much about the culture of the Amish along the way.

The book gives a very thorough examination of Amish beliefs in regards to forgiveness. While the examination started out very interesting, there were definitely parts that began to feel repetitive as the book continued on. I found it, on the whole, a very informative book and an interesting read. The interview with the gunman's mother at the end was very moving and probably one of my favorite parts of the book. I was also pleased that the authors included an appendix section that gave a brief history of Anabaptist religions, the Amish, and their basic religious belief system and way of life. As someone who passes Amish horse and buggies on a daily basis, it intrigues me to learn more about their way of life.
  ReadingFanatic09 | Jul 7, 2011 |
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From the Preface: Amish. School. Shooting.
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Book description
Part One.....1 --
1. The Nickel Mines Amish.....3 --
2. The Shooting.....17 --
3. The Aftermath.....29 --
4. The Surprise.....43 --
5. The Reactions.....53 --
Part Two.....65 --
6. The Habit of Forgiveness.....67 --
7. The Roots of Forgiveness.....85 --
8. The Spirituality of Forgiveness.....99 --
9. The Practice of Forgiveness.....113 --
Part Three.....123 --
10. Forgiveness at Nickel Mines.....125 --
11. What about shunning?.....141 --
12. Grief, Providence, and Justice.....155 --
13. Amish Grace and the Rest of Us.....173 --
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0787997617, Hardcover)

On Monday morning, October 2, 2006, a gunman entered a one-room Amish school in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania. In front of twenty-five horrified pupils, thirty-two-year-old Charles Roberts ordered the boys and the teacher to leave. After tying the legs of the ten remaining girls, Roberts prepared to shoot them execution with an automatic rifle and four hundred rounds of ammunition that he brought for the task. The oldest hostage, a thirteen-year-old, begged Roberts to "shoot me first and let the little ones go." Refusing her offer, he opened fire on all of them, killing five and leaving the others critically wounded. He then shot himself as police stormed the building. His motivation? "I'm angry at God for taking my little daughter," he told the children before the massacre.

The story captured the attention of broadcast and print media in the United States and around the world. By Tuesday morning some fifty television crews had clogged the small village of Nickel Mines, staying for five days until the killer and the killed were buried. The blood was barely dry on the schoolhouse floor when Amish parents brought words of forgiveness to the family of the one who had slain their children.

The outside world was incredulous that such forgiveness could be offered so quickly for such a heinous crime. Of the hundreds of media queries that the authors received about the shooting, questions about forgiveness rose to the top. Forgiveness, in fact, eclipsed the tragic story, trumping the violence and arresting the world's attention.

Within a week of the murders, Amish forgiveness was a central theme in more than 2,400 news stories around the world. The Washington Post, The New York Times, USA Today, Newsweek, NBC Nightly News, CBS Morning News, Larry King Live, Fox News, Oprah, and dozens of other media outlets heralded the forgiving Amish. From the Khaleej Times (United Arab Emirates) to Australian television, international media were opining on Amish forgiveness. Three weeks after the shooting, "Amish forgiveness" had appeared in 2,900 news stories worldwide and on 534,000 web sites.

Fresh from the funerals where they had buried their own children, grieving Amish families accounted for half of the seventy-five people who attended the killer's burial. Roberts' widow was deeply moved by their presence as Amish families greeted her and her three children. The forgiveness went beyond talk and graveside presence: the Amish also supported a fund for the shooter's family.

AMISH GRACE explores the many questions this story raises about the religious beliefs and habits that led the Amish to forgive so quickly. It looks at the ties between forgiveness and membership in a cloistered communal society and ask if Amish practices parallel or diverge from other religious and secular notions of forgiveness. It will also address the matter of why forgiveness became news. "All the religions teach it," mused an observer, "but no one does it like the Amish." Regardless of the cultural seedbed that nourished this story, the surprising act of Amish forgiveness begs for a deeper exploration. How could the Amish do this? What did this act mean to them? And how might their witness prove useful to the rest of us?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:51 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"The remarkable response of the Amish community to the horrific shooting of ten schoolgirls at Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, in October 2006 stunned the larger world. Amish Grace tells the incredible story of this community's reaction to this senseless shooting and explores its profoundly countercultural practice of forgiveness." "Outsiders often hold a stereotypical view of the Amish as a stubbornly backwards people - a view rooted in the picturesque images of buggies, beards, and bonnets. But there is much more to know about the Amish as a people, as we discovered after the Nickel Mines incident. The community's collective and radical act of forgiveness - the loving and compassionate response to the shooter and his family - gives us insights into who the Amish are and how they live their faith." "Amish Grace explores the many questions the story raises about the religious beliefs that led the Amish to forgive so quickly. In a world where religion spawns so much violence and vengeance, the surprising act of Amish forgiveness begs for deeper consideration."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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