top of page


Plan to Attend APASA Café

The APASA Scholarship Committee hosts a monthly discussion-oriented speaker series. This series promotes the scholarship and projects of Amish and plain Anabaptist researchers and service providers. Cafés are free and open to the public. Sign up to receive APASA announcements and watch your email and the APASA Info Hub.

Noon (Eastern Time) on the last Fridays of most months. 

Past Cafés

The presentation portion of APASA Cafés are available publicly. Join APASA to access full cafés. Full cafes also include the Q&A and discussion portions.

Logic and Tradition: Amish Theology in Recent Literature

Logic and Tradition: Amish Theology in Recent Literature

Topic: Logic and Tradition: Amish Theology in Recent Literature Speaker: Christopher G. Petrovich Abstract: In the past year, I have written four peer-reviewed articles on Amish theology and adjacent subjects. The essays address (a) the doctrine of the church with special attention to the construction of ‘lines of fellowship’; (b) their pre-modern reading of scripture; (c) the mid-twentieth-century context of the momentous 1955 ministerial decision that split the mostly unitary Amish world into two non-communing groups; and (d) the question of whether an Amish theology (if it exists!) can be inscribed on paper. The first three essays illustrate the viability of my argument that the Amish, like all other Christian traditions, are inescapably theological. I draw these articles together by addressing how logic and tradition are operative in Old Order Amish churches and note the ways that ‘modernist’ and Protestant Evangelical assumptions tend to skew outsider understandings of Amish beliefs and practices. Suggested reading: Petrovich, Christopher G. “Reading, Interpreting, and Applying Christian Scripture in Amish Communities” Mennonite Quarterly Review 96 (October 2022): 503-29. — “Amish Ecclesiology: Plural-Elder Congregationalism, Governing Lines of Fellowship, and Envisioning the Church” Ecclesiology 18 (2022): 297-318. — “1955 Diener Beschluß: Text, Interpretation, Reception History, and Historiography” Journal of Amish & Plain Anabaptist Studies (Forthcoming). — “Writing an Amish Theology.” Journal of Religion (Forthcoming).
Virtually Amish: Preserving Community at the Internet’s Margins

Virtually Amish: Preserving Community at the Internet’s Margins

Speaker: Lindsay Ems Abstract: The Amish are famous for their disconnection from the modern world and all its devices. But, as Lindsay Ems shows in her new book,Virtually Amish, Old Order Amish today are selectively engaging with digital communication technology. Drawing on extensive ethnographic fieldwork conducted in two Old Order Amish settlements in Indiana, Ems finds that the Amish do not allow digital communication technologies to drive their behavior; instead, they actively configure their sociotechnical world to align with their values and protect their community's autonomy. This talk will explore the various decisions made by members of Amish communities to guide digital communication technology use in an effort to maintain community wellness. Lindsay Ems’ Biography: Lindsay Ems is an Associate Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. Her research explores the social impacts of digital communication technologies. Specifically, in her teaching and research she aims to better understand the social forces that are often inconspicuously embedded into the technologies we all use today for relationship-building and maintenance, and workplace collaboration. Her new book, Virtually Amish: Preserving Community at the Internet’s Margins, explores approaches to resisting the damaging forces of high-tech capitalism that impact all who live and work in today’s information society, as deployed in Old Order Amish communities. Suggested Reading: Article: “Amish Workarounds: Toward a Dynamic, Contextualized View of Technology Use” by Lindsay Ems (JAPAS article) Book: Virtually Amish: Preserving Community at the Internet's Margins by Lindsay Ems (MIT Press)

Future APASA Café Schedule


Check back soon for updates!

bottom of page