How have the Amish, Mennonites and Hutterites been coping with the rapidly modernizing American economy since the late nineteenth century? The talk gives an overview of an ongoing research project that tackles this question by focusing on these three Anabaptist groups in the United States and Canada. The project looks at processes of adaption to and rejection of capitalist modernity in a long-term historical perspective from the end of the Civil War through the 1970s. On the one hand, Anabaptist communities stayed on traditional paths, for example by using pre-modern techniques of production. On the other hand, they embraced certain aspects of industrial modernity and increasingly participated in local, regional, and national markets. The project is based on the hypotheses that religious values as well as communal traditions influenced Anabaptist economic strategies. It aims to contribute to the current debates on secularization and the persistence of religion in modern societies, the diversity of modernization processes, as well as the cultural embeddedness of economic action.
Martin Lutz received his PhD in History from University of Konstanz in 2009. He joined Humboldt University's Department of History in October 2012, where he is a post-doctoral researcher and lecturer of social and economic history. His research interests include the influence of religion in modern economic history, the history of globalization, business history and neo-institutional theory. Martin's current research project looks at religion and ethnicity's influence economic activity. In analyzing the history of Mennonite, Amish and Hutterite communities, he tackles the question of how these Anabaptist groups of German decent adjusted to the modern market economy in the United States and Canada in the 19th and 20th centuries.
20.01.2020 | 14:00
John F. Kennedy Institute