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Social Science Café
BREAKAWAY AMISH: GROWING UP WITH THE BERGHOLZ BEARD CUTTERS
Wednesday, November 2, 11:00 am - 12:30 pm, Downtown Library, Classroom 104
The Social Science Cafe is a place where people come together, relax with a cup of coffee or a mug of beer, and talk about society.
Sessions last roughly an hour and usually involve one person giving a brief discussion on a social issue or academic topic, followed by plenty of time for questions and open conversation.
All events are free and open to the public. Our goals are to promote intellectual curiosity, encourage vigorous discussion of social issues, and build a sense of community among the diverse scholars, students and people of Morgantown, West Virginia.
JOHNNY MAST grew up in the Bergholz Amish community in southern Ohio, known for its beardcutting attacks on other Amish people. He is the grandson of Bergholz bishop Sam Mullet, and served as his grandfather’s right-hand support for his farm and businesses. Mast left Bergholz several years ago and now works on a construction company.
Mast will be discussing his book Breakaway Amish: Growing up with the Bergholz Beard Cutters. In this book, Mast recounts how “his Amish community became increasingly isolated from other Amish people, and how the wishes and edicts of his grandfather overtook daily life in the group. Over time, members became convinced that cutting their own hair was a sign of repentance and remorse. When that conviction led them to cut off the beards of those outside their community, however, it was more than a strange religious ritual. It was a crime.”