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Recommended Books on Bruderhof

FACTNet Recommended Bruderhof Books

Recommended Fiction Books

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Reviews are not by FACTNet staff

Free From Bondage
by Nadine M. Pleil, Gertrude Enders Huntington
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"The life experiences of Nadine is an absolutely must-read for every student of Christian communalism, especially prospective converts to any high-demand sect. Nadine lived the life and deserves to be heard. No doubt the Bruderhof/Arnoldleut will not be jumping up and down for joy, but the whole story needs to come out. Only when a thorough, totally unbiased examination of the Bruderhof organization is allowed will we ever know who and what they really are."

The Other Side of Joy : Religious Melancholy Among the Bruderhof
by Julius H. Rubin
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"..the other side of joy is not laughter; It is the maladies of Anfechtung (feelings of sinful alienation from God), psychomachia (war against self), Busskampf (an intense emotional wrenching inner struggle that results in ravishing, joyous psychological union with God), religious melancholy, and religious authoritarianism that are the other side of joy, according to Dr. Rubin. Having grown up on the Bruderhof as a grandson of the founder, Eberhard Arnold, I have found Rubin's work to be interesting, revealing and credible. It is not surprising that the Bruderhof does not like Rubin's conclusions, painting such a repressive picture of this "utopian" community that so many of us had to escape from, or were kicked out of. I recommend this book to anyone interested in the study of abusive churches, or who is considering a life of primitive pietism, Bruderhof style."

Torches Extinguished
by Elizabeth Bohlken-Zumpe, Gertrude Enders Huntington
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"This book relates the history of the Bruderhof from the view of a child growing up. The author was raised as a member of this religious group, took her membership vows then left as a young adult. Bohlken-Zumpe is the granddaughter of founder Eberhard Arnold. My understanding of the Bruderhof, where I also grew up, was enhanced by reading this book. In relating her story, Bohlken-Zumpe does not flinch in revealing personal difficulties. This book along with other ex-bruderhof members books, should be permitted reading among the current membership to help them understand themselves,and their history. I recommend this book for anyone who has experienced belonging to a "cult-like" closed society or wants to understand similar situations."

Through Streets Broad And Narrow
by Belinda Manley, Gertrude Enders Huntington
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"The Bruderhof/Arnoldleut story is a complex one. Although the Bruderhofers are good at getting out their "side" of the story, defectors like Belinda Manley should be heard/read. They have something to say that is of value. What is the truth? I don't know, but I do know Truth will win out. I suspect we haven't yet heard the whole story by any means! The Belinda Manley story is worthwhile reading."

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