June 1, 2010
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v2.1 Reference

The Hutterites in North America

One of the longest-lived communal societies in North America, the Hutterites have developed multifaceted communitarian perspectives on everything from conflict resolution and decision-making practices to standards of living and care for the elderly. This compellingly written book offers a glimpse into the complex and varied lives of the nearly 500 North American Hutterite communities.

North American Hutterites today number around 50,000 and have common roots with and beliefs akin to the Amish and other Old Order Christians. This historical analysis and anthropological investigation draws on existing research, primary sources, and over 25 years of the authors' interaction with Hutterite communities to recount the group's physical and spiritual journey from its 16th-century founding in Eastern Europe and its near disappearance in Transylvania in the 1760s to its late 19th-century transplantation to North America and into the modern era. It explains how the Hutterites found creative ways to manage social and economic changes over more than five centuries while holding to the principles and cultural values embedded in their faith.

Religious scholars, anthropologists, and historians of America and the Anabaptist faiths will find this objective-yet-appreciative account of the Hutterites' distinct North American culture to be a valuable and fascinating study both of the religion and of a viable alternative to modern-day capitalism.

About the Authors

Rod Janzen is a Distinguished Scholar and a professor of history and social science education at Fresno Pacific University. He is the author of The Fall and Rise of Synanon, also published by Johns Hopkins . Max Stanton is a professor of anthropology and geography at Brigham Young University, Hawaii. He has been writing about Hutterites since 1988.


A comprehensive and appealing description of Hutterites that should become a definitive work and read by those looking for an interesting book in the field of American religion.

- Steve Longnecker - Church History

An excellent resource for understanding the contemporary culture of an Anabaptist congregation few North Americans know.

- Choice

This book is an essential synthesis of Hutterite history and culture.

- Steven D. Reschly - Journal of American History

The book provides a very readable brief description of just about every aspect of Hutterite life.

- Wilma Ann Bailey - Indiana Magazine of History

A balanced and personalized account.

- Jonathan G. Andelson - Anthropological Quarterly

The authors make significant contributions to Anabaptist studies... a welcome text to the field.

- Dr. Josh Brown - Culture, Agriculture, Food, and Environment

The Hutterites in North America is an excellent place to being understanding the role of religion in this long-standing Christian commune.

- Steven M. Nolt - Journal of Religion

This will now be the text to read for all who wish to understand the current shape of Hutterite.

- Alvin Esau - Nova Religio

Rod Janzen and Max Stanton's The Hutterites in North America is so well researched and carefully written that it supersedes John A. Hostetler's 1974 classic treatise, Hutterite Society... Janzen and Stanton have succeeded in producing a monograph representative of all four Hutterian groups, within the context of the larger Anabaptist tradition and the experience of North American communal groups generally.

- Leonard Gross - Mennonite Quarterly Review

Rod Janzen and Max Stanton's

- Johns Hopkins University Press


It becomes clear as one reads this book that both authors have not simply viewed Hutterite colonies but have immersed themselves in Hutterite life, visiting many different colonies and doing so repeatedly. That lengthy study has opened a wealth of personal sources that would not be available to most other scholars. This book will be the new standard on Hutterites.

- Timothy Miller, University of Kansas
Johns Hopkins University Press
Young Center Books in Anabaptist and Pietist Studies
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9780801894893 : the-hutterites-in-north-america-janzen-stanton
400 Pages
$48.00 USD

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