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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

German (GER)

GER 157 (GH;US) Pennsylvania Germans: The Culture of the Sectarians (3) Survey of the religious background, beliefs, social life, customs, education, and culture of the Pennsylvania German sectarians, especially the Amish. Conducted in English.

GER 157 Pennsylvania Germans: The Culture of the Sectarians (3)
(GH;US)

(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.

Through lectures, discussions, and films, students will be introduced to the culture, history, religion, language, education, occupations, folklore, music, and literature of the Pennsylvania Germans. Since 1683, people coming from the German-speaking territories of Central Europe settled Pennsylvania to a large degree. Many of these immigrants soon blended into American society but others who had been persecuted in Europe for their convictions and religious beliefs refused to be Americanized and retained their style of life in the New World. The best-known are the Amish who arrived in colonial times and still cling to their traditional language, beliefs and values, their economic basis, and even their clothing after living nearly three centuries in now industrialized America. They live in small, stable, and viable communities an austere life dictated by established beliefs and customs totally opposed to the American dream of progress and innovation, individual happiness and material success. By studying their history and culture and that of other groups, such as the Mennonites, Hutterites, and Moravians, students are offered a unique opportunity to learn more about other truly diverse cultures and are enabled to arrive at a better understanding of their own cultural concepts and values.

In this course, students may either make a 30-minute presentation or write a 10-page paper on a topic pertaining to the curriculum of the course. Given the number of students, only a small number (approximately six) will have the opportunity to make a presentation. Teaching assistants help grade the papers. In addition, students take two one-hour examinations and a final examination.

The course is related to GER 100 and GER 200 by examining the culture of German-speaking peoples. GER 157 differs from those courses, however, by focusing on a German-speaking minority culture found in Pennsylvania and elsewhere in North America.

German 157 may not be applied toward the requirements of a German major or a German minor. It may be used for the General Education humanities requirement, for the General Education Intercultural/International Competence requirement, or for a B.A. humanities requirement.

The course is offered approximately once a year with an enrollment of 150-180 students.


General Education: GH
Diversity: US
Bachelor of Arts: Humanities
Effective: Summer 2005

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.

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Course descriptions are stored in LionPATH, the University-wide student information system. Please visit the LionPATH Course Catalog to access current course descriptions. At that point, you will be leaving the University Bulletin website.



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