Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy

Amish Grace How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy On Monday morning October 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 boy

  • Title: Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy
  • Author: Donald B. Kraybill Steven M. Nolt David L. Weaver-Zercher
  • ISBN: 9780787997618
  • Page: 341
  • Format: 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 ammunOn 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 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 familyISH 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

    One thought on “Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy”

    1. I found this book to be very repetative and dull. While the concept is interesting, the execution left a lot to be desired. The first third of the book tells of the events leading up to, during and immediately after the Nickels Mines schoolhouse tragedy. The last 2/3 is where the authors discuss forgiveness as practised by the Amish. It had the potential to be interesting but just didn't deliver. It seemed as if I was reading the same things over and over again, just worded differently, or using [...]

    2. The facts are these: on the 2nd of October, 2006, in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania USA, a man got inside a school (belonging to an Amish community), shot 10 school girls and then killed himself. Five children got killed.I’ve watched the movie (Amish Grace) based on the book… and those facts.Obviously, it was a tragedy for both the children’s parents and to the wife of the shooter, namely. The story has an high point, because it revolves around the notion of forgiveness (a very distinct trait [...]

    3. I grew up near Lancaster, PA and when the shooting in Nickel Mines occurred in 2006 I was among the very, very shocked and very saddened. When I heard of the forgiveness bestowed by the Amish, I had disbelief and after reading this book, it became clearer to me that forgiveness wasn't really a choice, it's a way of life for the Amish. The book delves into the reasons behind the Amish practice of forgiveness when it comes to outsiders - and how the opposite occurs when a fellow Amish person choos [...]

    4. Forgiveness is at the core of Christianity, yet I suspect it is many times one of our least-practiced virtues. It is certainly among the most difficult, and flies in the face of human nature and modern society, both of which typically tells us to revenge wrongs. This book examines the concept of forgiveness in the context of the infamous and horrific Nickel Mines school shooting. Along the way, the authors, all professors in Amish history and culture, provide insights into both the Lancaster PA. [...]

    5. Although I had no foreknowledge of the Nickel Mines schoolhouse shooting when my aunt sent me this book, I was immediately intrigued, and got so caught up in it that I had read the entire tome within twenty-four hours of receiving the package in the mail. These Anabaptist kinfolk have an awful lot to teach us about life, especially about the countercultural values of simplicity and nonviolence. Included below are two quotations that I found especially convicting:“Rather than making their own w [...]

    6. The first section of this book is so heart wrenching. As the author says, in some way we lost last safe place in America. What those families suffered is terrible. Then they shocked the nation with their ready offer of forgiveness. That part of the book was interesting, and I learned quite a bit.It was the last two sections that were troubling. There the author delves into the philosophy, theology and psychology of forgiveness in general, and in the Amish communities in particular. Kraybill does [...]

    7. The first 50 pages detailing a horrific incident and it's aftermath are worth reading the book alone. And I think the book is worth owning, not just borrowing from the library. And it's worth reading (at least the first 50 pages) more than once. It's heartbreaking, uplifting, beautiful. I had to keep putting the book down because the tears in my eyes made me unable to see the pages clearly. The touching comments and views remind me of a poem by a 17th century Puritan poet Anne Bradstreet called [...]

    8. This book takes a look at the tragic shooting in a school house in the Amish community in Lancaster, PA. Parents lost five children in the shooting yet amazed the world by forgiving the man almost immediately after it happened. This book asks the question why and how were they able to forgive so quickly and "easily." I never really knew much about the theology of the Amish until I read this book. I would not say that this book is an extensive systematic theology of what they believe (for in fact [...]

    9. I learned a great deal about the Amish culture, far beyond what I thought I would. This book delves in to the actual tragedy that occurred in the Fall of 2006 at Nickel Mines, handling the situation with respect and sensitivity while still telling more of the story than I knew. I was glued to the television the week this horror story unfolded and then, miraculously, when the world learned of the Amish "forgiving" the murderer and extending a hand of support and fellowship to his family. Like so [...]

    10. On October 2, 2006, a disturbed and heavily armed man entered an Amish school in Pennsylvania and took the children hostage. He eventually sent everyone but 10 young girls away, and as police surrounded the school, shot the children and then committed suicide. Five of the girls died, and the others suffered critical injuries.The first section of the book gives background on the Amish and their beliefs, and then recounts the tragic events of that day. The authors then turn to the response of the [...]

    11. I first thought very highly (and I guess I still do)of the Amish's ability and willingness to forgive and reach to the families of offenders. But, now in light of knowing that the Amish believe that if they do not forgive then they will not be forgiven by God. The book talked about how important and how much they emphasis forgiveness in the Amish culture. Sometimes to their own peril. In cases of domestic abuse, sexual abuse ect. It was interesting to read the history of the Amish culture and ho [...]

    12. Amé este libro, me ayudó mucho a reflexionar sobre como vivimos nuestra vida actualmente: donde colocamos nuestras prioridades, a qué le dedicamos tiempo y en especial, nuestra falta de humildad muchas veces para acatar, perdonar y amar.A simple vista es una comunidad que se restringe demasiado y no "disfruta" de la modernidad, sin embargo leyendo el libro pude entender mejor en dónde están sus valores y cómo el auto-restringirse ayuda a que sus familias y comunidades tengan bajos índices [...]

    13. excellent and balance account of "how" the amish live out of a center of forgiveness and consequently were quick to forgive the man who took the lives of their young school girls. it is difficult to wrap one's mind around such rapid and unconditional forgiveness and this book goes the distance in explaining the context of how such a thing can be done. it is balanced because those few in the media who criticized this act of instant forgiveness (even as most of us stood in stunned silence and awe) [...]

    14. Like many people, I was profoundly moved by the spirit of forgiveness that radiated out of Nickel Mines after the school shooting in 2006. When I learned about this book, I dropped everything and ran to read it. I was not disappointed with the in-depth exploration of forgiveness and the Amish culture that made it possible.The authors do a superb job providing important detail of the incident and its impact on the community, without watering down the severity of the atrocity or resorting to caric [...]

    15. Okay, first big mistake was to pick this up at 9:30 p.m. "just to read the jacket." That lead to opening the book, then to starting to read it, and now it is almost midnight and I haven't put it down. I've already highlighted a significant part of what I've read (for those who don't know me, I am an AVID highlighter -- which is why I have to BUY my books, not borrow then from a library). There is so much to learn from this book about REAL forgiveness and reconciliationbut lots of questions: Coul [...]

    16. The first third of the book is utterly soul-shattering, in the best possible way. The calm, clear-eyed way the authors describe what happened in Nickel Mines (which takes up no more than a few pages), and then the beautiful succession of loving acts that transpired in its wake, will remind you that, despite all daily evidence to the contrary, sometimes people are good -- no, wonderful -- simply because they want to be.The last two thirds of the book are quite a bit drier, and although they're in [...]

    17. This true story is about the Amish after the Nickel Mines tragedyd, to the world's amazement, their willingness to forgive. I enjoyed learning more about the Amish people -- their religion and their culturebut the real message of the book is the power of sincere forgiveness. I highly recommend this one!

    18. Such wonderful insight into Amish life, history and why precisely they look toward reconciliation rather than any sort of divisiveness. Such a lesson to us all.

    19. I recently finished reading "Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy" by Donald B. Kraybill, Steven M. Nolt, and David L. Weaver-Zercher. From : "When a group of Amish schoolgirls are taken hostage and killed in their classroom, their parents and the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, stun the outside world by immediately forgiving the killer.I previously new very little about the Amish (mostly from the film Witness?). As I learned more, I couldn't help but notice some simil [...]

    20. This is a book definitely worth reading. Forgiveness is such an underrated topic of discussion, and what an unfortunate opportunity to explore it in the context of the Nickel Mines Amish school massacre, when forgiveness was so freely and automatically given to the gunman and his family.While I feel that the authors could have explored the depth of forgiveness, they gave readers a broad explanation of forgiveness in the Amish and English cultures. It served to help readers understand how the Ami [...]

    21. When we were on vacation in Cowee Valley, Franklin, NC, we visited the local Methodist church. The preacher was ill that day but he gave a remarkable sermon about forgiveness drawing from this book, Amish Grace. He issued me a real challenge in working on forgiving people. I have yet to sit down and make a list but I know it is probably lengthy. In my family, we didn't learn much about forgiveness. It's only been in recent years, 2006 onward, that I've really learned about the need to forgive. T [...]

    22. What a great book! The book first talks about the tragic shooting at Nickel Mines and how the Amish people's belief in forgiving and then discusses the Amish beliefs and reasons for those beliefs/values. While I might not agree with some of their practices/beliefs at least I know understand their reasons for them.

    23. Wonderful book on how the Amish practice forgiveness as a way of life. I learned of this book when it first came out but it was too soon after the tragedy in Lancaster for me to read at that time. I am glad that I went back and read it.

    24. I really enjoyed this book. It discusses a lot of the details of the Amish faith, and beliefs regarding forgiveness, and how one should live life. An inspiring and peaceful read

    25. This is my thirteenth attempt this week to write this review. I've started a dozen previous times only to scrap my feeble first sentences when I can't seem to get any traction. Words fail me every time I try to describe my emotions when I first read about the school shooting at the West Nickel Mines Amish School in rural Pennsylvania in October 2006. Of course, any school shooting is cause for sadness and anger, fear and heartbreak, confusion and worry, but the premeditated murder of these young [...]

    26. Written by three scholars with expertise on the subject, "Amish Grace" is about how the Amish community responded with forgiveness and grace to the horrific crime at Nickel Mines School in Lancaster County, Pa on Oct. 2, 2006, when a deranged gunman killed five Amish schoolgirls and wounded five others. The authors move quickly away from the event itself to discuss how the world was moved by the acts of kindness the Amish people extended to the gunman's family. The shooter killed himself, but by [...]

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