In 2012, we asked internationally renowned scholar Donald B. Kraybill to answer our top ten questions about the Amish; one of those is about shunning. Read the rest of the FAQ on our site for The Amish.
What is shunning?
If Amish church members break their vows of baptism by disobeying religious leaders or church regulations and refuse to confess their error, they will face excommunication. Based on several biblical scriptures, the church shuns ex-members to remind them of their disobedience in hopes of winning them back. Shunning is practiced in different ways by various Amish groups, but it typically involves rituals of shaming such as not eating at the same table with ex-members at weddings or other public gatherings. Shunned people rarely live at home but some return for funerals, weddings or reunions involving family members. The strictness of shunning and communication between parents and adult children who leave varies from one group of Amish to another.
Wayward members are reinstated if they confess their transgression. Some congregations end the shunning if an ex-member joins a pacifist plain-dressing church such as conservative Mennonites. Unbaptized people who leave are not shunned, because they never made baptismal promises and joined the church.
Silent film actress Mary Pickford played a pivotal role in bringing Hollywood into the center of the motion picture industry.
His stunning triumph at the 1936 Olympic Games captivated the world even as it infuriated the Nazis. Premiering May 1.
A star in baseball's golden age, Joe DiMaggio's celebrity status and tumultuous marriage to Marilyn Monroe brought him pain.
America's first great songwriter, Stephen Foster, wrote 200 songs but died a penniless alcoholic at 37.
The history of New York City and the people and forces that have shaped it over the past 400 years is told in a seven-part 14.5-hour series.
Of all the alphabet agencies of the New Deal, none captured the public's imagination like J. Edgar Hoover's FBI.
The 1968 Democratic National Convention saw a clash of political visions on the convention floor and violence outside on the streets of Chicago.
The story of Chicago's dramatic transformation from a swampy frontier town to a massive metropolis in the nineteenth century.