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Religion Mennonite

Family, Church, and Market

A Mennonite Community in the Old and the New Worlds, 1850-1930

by (author) Royden Loewen

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Dec 1993
Mennonite, North America, Globalization, Social History, Emigration & Immigration, Human Geography
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    Publish Date
    Dec 1993
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In 1874, a group of nine hundred Mennonites migrated from Russia to the western plains of Canada and the United States, settling in and around Steinbach, Manitoba, and Jansen, Nebraska. This social hsitory shows how these conservative, German-speaking farm families adapted to an increasingly urbanized and industrialized world.
Royden Loewen examines how the men and women of this immigrant group decised strategies to maintain familiar social structures and cultural patters within a changing society. Because these Mennonites were highly literate, leaving a rich array of diaries, letters, and memoirs, their everyday lives and ethnic self-perceptions can be reconstituted in detail.
Loewen's account tells of three generations of Mennonites for whom the farm family was the primary social unit. The sectarian, lay-oriented church congregation interpreted life's meaning and enforced strict social boundaries on the community level. These traditionalist were coupled with a sensitive adaptation to the market economy of the outside world.

About the author

Royden Loewen is a senior scholar at the University of Winnipeg. His books include Horse-and-Buggy Genius: Listening to Mennonites Contest the Modern World and Village Among Nations: "Canadian" Mennonites in a Transnational World, 1916–2006.


Royden Loewen's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"A clear and well-developed micro-study that by its example points out new, interesting avenues of approach for historians who work in the ethnic field."

Herman Ganzevoort, author of A Bittersweet land: The Dutch Experience in Canada, 1890-1980

Other titles by Royden Loewen