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"Myths About Mennonites" Lecture Series

Jan. 5, 2012

KUTZTOWN, PA - Kutztown University associate professor Dr. Robert W. Reynolds, director of the Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center, leads a discussion on dispelling myths and misunderstandings about the culture of the Old Order Mennonites, next Tuesday, January 10 at 7 p.m. at Louisa Gonser Library in Kutztown.

The group discussion will be focused on the reading of the book "Horse-and-Buggy Mennonites: Hoofbeats of Humility in a Postmodern World" by Donald Kraybill, Ph.D. and James Hurd. The book is an overview of the formation of the Wenger Mennonites and discusses the migration of this group to Berks County and elsewhere from its start in Lancaster County. Copies of the book will be available at the library for those who would like to participate in the discussion.

This lecture is an introduction to the Anabaptist Lecture Series at Kutztown University. The first session of which will feature Kraybill. This lecture will take place on Wednesday, February 8, 2012 at 7 p.m. in Alumni Auditorium (snow date is February 15). Kraybill is the nationally recognized authority on the Anabaptist groups, especially the Old Order Amish and Mennonites. He has written or co-written sixteen books. A professor at Elizabethtown College, he studies socio-cultural change in Anabaptist communities and also serves as the series editor of The Young Center Books in Anabaptist and Pietist books published by the Johns Hopkins University Press. Kraybill will describe and explain Old Order Mennonite culture and compare them with Amish practices. He will present research from his book, "Horse-and-Buggy Mennonites: Hoofbeats of Humility in a Postmodern World." The book also compares and contrasts the Wengers with other similar traditional Anabaptist groups.

The last activity in the Anabaptist Lecture Series is on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 at 5 p.m. in Rohrbach Library (snow date is February 29). On this evening, James Weaver, a member of the Kutztown Old Order Mennonite community and Benuel Riehl, a member of the Lancaster Old Order Amish community will respond to a series of moderated questions that illuminate the similarities and differences between their religious groups. This program will provide an opportunity to facilitate better understanding and open a dialogue that can generate grace and reflection between the old order and the "English" community. Anyone who would like to have their question answered should email Reynolds at

The Anabaptist Lecture Series and Book Club are sponsored by The Pennsylvania German Cultural Club, Rohrbach Library and the late Dr. Arnold Newman, in partnership with the Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center at Kutztown University.

For more information, please contact the Center at 610-683-1589 or or view our website at