College to Host Author on Amish Culture

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Westminster College will host sociologist and author Dr. Donald Kraybill for a talk and book signing Thursday, Sept. 18, at 7 p.m. in Wallace Memorial Chapel.  The program is free and open to the public.

Kraybill is the author, co-author or editor of more than a dozen books on Amish culture.  His presentation will be about his newest release, Renegade Amish: Beard Cutting, Hate Crimes, and the Trial of the Bergholz Barbers, and he will sign copies of the book following the discussion.  Copies of the book are available in Westminster's bookstore and at the event.

The book describes the 2011 series of Amish-on-Amish beard and hair cutting attacks on nine victims in eastern Ohio.  The offenders were the first to be convicted of religiously-motivated hate crimes under the 2009 Shepard Byrd Hate Crimes Act.  Kraybill assisted the U.S. Department of Justice in the prosecution and served as an expert witness at the trial.

Kraybill is a senior fellow at the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College and is known as the country's foremost scholar on Amish society.  He spoke at Westminster on his book The Riddle of Amish Culture in September 2009.

The program is sponsored by Westminster's Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice Studies, Inquiry Program and Office of the Chapel.

Contact Dr. Kristin Park, professor and coordinator of Westminster's Sociology and Criminal Justice Studies Program, at 724-946-7251 or email for more information.

About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College is a top-tier liberal arts college and a national leader in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 379 Colleges" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.

Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 41 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.


Dr. Donald Kraybill