Date of Graduation

Fall 2015

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Research Sponsor

Dr. Mary Biddinger

First Reader

Dr. Heather Braun

Second Reader

Dr. Hillary Nunn


This project investigates the ballads compiled into the Ausbund, which literally means “a true selection or sampling. This hymnbook is the oldest one continuously in use in the world. Although the hymnbook was compiled by Amish and Mennonite ancestors, only the Amish use it today. Through creative non-fiction, this series of essays sketches ways in which the hymnbook continues to influence the Amish and Mennonite community. It attempts to prove that the Ausbund is a unique piece of art that has literary, cultural, and spiritual value. It had value in the sixteenth century, when most of the hymns were penned, but its value has increased in the intervening centuries. It preserves and promotes a sacrificial culture, one that draws identity and meaning from the songs.

Included in

Nonfiction Commons