Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy

By Donald B. Kraybill , Steven M. Nolt and David L. Weaver-Zercher
Read by Paul Michael Garcia

6.98 Hours 04/01/2008 unabridged
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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 style with an automatic rifle and four hundred rounds of ammunition. 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 Amish community’s remarkable response to this horrific shooting stunned the larger world. Amish Grace tells the incredible story of this community’s reaction to the senseless crime and explores its profoundly countercultural practice of forgiveness. Outsiders often hold a stereotypical view of the Amish as a stubbornly backwards people—a view rooted in the picturesque images of buggies, beards, and bonnets. But the community’s collective and radical act of forgiveness—the loving and compassionate response to the shooter and his family—gives us insights into who the Amish truly are and how they live their faith. In a world where religion spawns so much violence and vengeance, the surprising act of Amish forgiveness begs for deeper consideration.

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Summary

Summary

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 style with an automatic rifle and four hundred rounds of ammunition. 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 Amish community’s remarkable response to this horrific shooting stunned the larger world. Amish Grace tells the incredible story of this community’s reaction to the senseless crime and explores its profoundly countercultural practice of forgiveness.

Outsiders often hold a stereotypical view of the Amish as a stubbornly backwards people—a view rooted in the picturesque images of buggies, beards, and bonnets. But the community’s collective and radical act of forgiveness—the loving and compassionate response to the shooter and his family—gives us insights into who the Amish truly are and how they live their faith. In a world where religion spawns so much violence and vengeance, the surprising act of Amish forgiveness begs for deeper consideration.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“In a world where repaying evil with evil is almost second nature, the Amish remind us there’s a better way.” Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking
“This intelligent, compassionate, and hopeful book is a welcome addition to the growing literature on forgiveness.” Publishers Weekly
“[A] work that nourishes both mind and soul.” Library Journal
“At times difficult to read, this anguished and devastating account of a national tragedy and a hopeful, life-affirming lesson in how to live is itself a marvel of grace.” Booklist
“A story our polarized country needs to hear: It is still grace that saves.” Bill Moyers, New York Times bestselling author

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Donald B. Kraybill

Donald B. Kraybill, PhD, is senior fellow at the Young Center of Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania. Among his many publications, he has authored, coauthored, or edited six books on the Amish.

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Author Bio: Steven M. Nolt

Steven M. Nolt, PhD, is associate professor of history at Goshen College in Indiana. He has written on the history of the Amish and their culture.

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Author Bio: David L. Weaver-Zercher

David L. Weaver-Zercher, PhD, is associate professor of American religious history at Messiah College in Pennsylvania. He has written or edited numerous books on the Amish.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction
Runtime: 6.98
Audience: Adult
Language: English