Gemeinde (theology)

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In theological usage, the German word Gemeinde (ɡəˈmaɪndə; plural: Gemeinden) refers to a group of people attached to a specific house of worship, usually a church building or a synagogue. The word can be used to mean a parish assembly, in the sense of a group of people physically present for a service or other function, or be used in the sense of the Greek term koinonia , a general fellowship of believers. In these senses, the word has no direct English equivalent except among Mormons, who call it a ward.

Among the Amish, the word can also refer to the Amish community, interpreted as a corporate body politic, as a whole. [1]

In terms of Jewish communities, the word can refer to the community level of Jewish life, as established in pre-World War II Germany. [2]

See also

Church (congregation)

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Ordnung

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Plain dress

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Amish religious practices

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Amish believe large families are a blessing from God. Amish rules allow marrying only between members of the Amish Church. The elderly do not go to a retirement facility; they remain at home.

Subgroups of Amish developed over the years, as Amish churches have divided many times over doctrinal disputes. The 'Old Order' Amish, a conservative faction that withdrew from fellowship with the wider body of Amish in the 1860s, are those that have most emphasized traditional practices and beliefs. There are many different subgroups of Amish with most belonging, in ascending order of conservatism, to the Beachy Amish, New Order, Old Order, or Swartzentruber Amish groups.

A Seeker is a person likely to join an Old Order Anabaptist community, like the Amish, the Old Order Mennonites, the Hutterites, the Old Order Schwarzenau Brethren or the Old Order River Brethren. Among the 500,000 members of such communities in the United States there are only an estimated 1,200 to 1,300 outsiders who have joined them.

Anabaptists and Jews have had interactions for several centuries, since the origins of Anabaptism in the Radical Reformation in early modern Europe. Due to the insularity of many Anabaptist and Jewish communities, Anabaptist–Jewish relations have historically been limited but there are notable examples of interactions between Anabaptists and Jews. Due to some similarities in dress, culture, and language, Amish and Mennonite communities in particular have often been compared and contrasted to Hasidic Jewish communities.

References

  1. Hostetler, John Andrew. Amish Life . Herald Press. ISBN   9780836133264.
  2. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. "JEWISH COMMUNITIES OF PREWAR GERMANY". Holocaust Encyclopedia. Retrieved 4 May 2021.