Forgiveness in the Face of Tragedy: The Amish at Nickel Mines
Donald R. Kraybill
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Gettysburg College Union Building, Room 260
In early October 2006, a gunman took ten Amish girls hostage in a school house in Nickel Mines, Lancaster County. He shot all of them, five fatally, before killing himself. One the day of the shooting, a grandfather of one of the victims said: "We must not think evil of this man." Soon the entire Amish community extended forgiveness to the shooter and visited and comforted his shocked widow and parents.
Donald Kraybill, Distinguished College Professor and Senior Fellow in the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College and this year's Mahan Speaker, will use the Nickel Mines disaster as an opportunity to explore the meaning of forgiveness. His lecture will reflect on the philosophical and religious meaning of forgiveness, whether or not forgiveness has limits, and why the Amish forgive more readily than other groups in society.
Kraybill is the author or editor of nearly twenty books, and is recognized as the world's authority on the Old Amish Order. His many books include The Upside Down Kingdom, Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy, and The Amish Way: Patient Faith in a Perilous World.
The annual Mahan Lecture is made possible through a generous endowment by Fred (Class of 1952) and Martha Mahan