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Migration and Faith

Migration and Faith:
The Migrations of the Schwenkfelders from Germany to America -
Risks and Opportunities

by Horst Weigelt; Translated from German by Allen Viehmeyer

ISBN 9783525564356

Regularly $57, in our Gift Shop for just $40.


The contents of Migration and Faith will be an interest to many within the Schwenkfelder denomination for a variety of reasons. It is the first detailed study in English of the Schwenkfelders in America for some time. Those who are fascinated in this period of history of the Schwenkfelders will find the book of interest. The last book written in English on this subject was Howard Kriebel's, The Schwenkfelders in America: A Historical Sketch, which was printed in 1904.

Migration and Faith also includes detailed information in English regarding the Schwenkfelder migration from Silesia through Germany and the Netherlands into Pennsylvania. The previous one was Horst Weigelt's The Schwenkfelders in Silesia which was translated by Peter C. Erb in 1985. For those who are Interested in the history of their ancestors, this will provide welcome new information.

Weigelt's book also gives Information about Schwenkfelder beliefs. This may be a particular important point for pastors in the churches or others within the life of the Schwenkfelder Conference who are aiming to raise Christian devotion within the life of families. In chapter seven, Weigelt provides details about the Schwenkfelder's religious life which moved from private to communal expression. He provides descriptions of the household devotion of Schwenkfelders that were based on family Bible reading, prayer, singing, as well as devotional literature. He writes about the struggles that early Schwenkfelders had with worldliness and the confrontation with other belief systems. These are similar to problems that Schwenkfelders face today. The special attention that Schwenkfelders gave to the education of their children was also an important aspect of the early settlement years of the Schwenkfelders. This concern within the 1700's may provide further encouragement for this good type of activity today.

Weigelt also gives details about how the Society of Schwenkfelders emerged. Those who are involved with the Executive Council or other committees within the Schwenkfelder denomination will gain helpful history behind aspects of General Conference as well as some of the leaders within the Schwenkfelder community such as George Weiss, Christopher Schultz, Christopher Kriebel, and Balthasar Hoffman. The last book to provide this type of information was Kyrel Meschter's, Twentieth Century Schwenkfelders which was published in 1984.


Horst Weigelt is well qualified to write on the Schwenkfelder migration. He is Professor emeritus of Church History at Otto-Friedrich University Bamberg, Germany. He has written numerous articles and books that have been accepted in the academic community at the highest levels. Many of these refer to Caspar Schwenckfeld, Schwenkfelders, or the Pietistic tradition from which our denomination emerges.

Dr. Drake Williams
Associate Professor of New Testament
Evangelische Theologische Faculteit
Leuven, Belgium