In the midst of a society that values cell phones, microwave ovens, high-speed Internet access and video games, there exists a centuries-old communal group that chooses to live apart from the modern age. They are the Hutterites, an Anabaptist group that began in central Europe in the 1500s and whose present-day members number 45,000 and have settled in 400 colonies throughout Washington, Montana and western Canada.
Dr. Bron Ingoldsby, a professor in the School of Family Life at Brigham Young University, has spent years studying the Hutterites and will present his findings on this religious group and culture on Tuesday, April 22, at 1:30 p.m. in the Washington State University Vancouver Student Services Building lecture hall.
Similar to the Amish culture in religious tenets and patriarchal hierarchy, Hutterites believe the community as a whole must be preserved and, therefore, is more important than the individual or the family. But recent research indicates that the strictly guarded Hutterian way of life is being influenced by the greater society, and individualistic values are filtering into the members’ ages-old approach to romance, marriage and raising children.
The Department of Human Development and Associated Students of WSU Vancouver are sponsoring the lecture, which is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Dr. Suzanne Smith at (360) 546-9714.