Jehovah's Witnesses: Portrait of a Contemporary Religious Movement

Jehovah's Witnesses: Portrait of a Contemporary Religious Movement

by Andrew Holden
     
 

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This is the first major study of the enigmatic religious society. By examining the Jehovah's Witnesses' dramatic recent expansion, Andrew Holden reveals the dependency of their quasi-totalitarian movement on the physical and cultural resources have brought about the privatization of religion, the erosion of community, and the separation of 'fact' from faith.See more details below

Overview

This is the first major study of the enigmatic religious society. By examining the Jehovah's Witnesses' dramatic recent expansion, Andrew Holden reveals the dependency of their quasi-totalitarian movement on the physical and cultural resources have brought about the privatization of religion, the erosion of community, and the separation of 'fact' from faith.

Editorial Reviews

Ian Reader
Adds greatly to our understanding of the movement itself, and should take its place as an important account of the nature of the Jehovah's Witnesses in the late twentieth century.
Publishers Weekly
Why do people convert to the Watch Tower Society? How can these Jehovah's Witnesses persist in their belief that the end of the world is imminent? In this academic study, Holden, a British sociologist, attempts to understand why the strict and austere Watch Tower Society continues to enjoy rapid growth. This is neither a primer on the danger of "cults" nor an endorsement of the Witnesses' distinctive beliefs, but a balanced ethnography that draws upon interviews with both adherents and ex-members to help readers understand what it is like to be part of the Society. Holden's main thesis that the Watch Tower is engaged in careful and ongoing negotiations with the secular culture that surrounds it is a nuanced one, especially compared to previous studies that have depicted the movement as little more than an extremist rejection of modernity. The study bears the marks of the dissertation that it once was: it overexplains how data were collected and analyzed, surveys the historiography of the topic (which, as Holden points out, is all but nonexistent in the case of the Witnesses) and relies heavily on a few theorists (in this case, Clifford Geertz and Mary Douglas). But the topic is compelling enough that readers who are interested in the Watch Tower will be obliged to put aside Holden's academese and be grateful for what he has given them: a thoughtful book that takes the Witnesses' own beliefs and words seriously. (July) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher
'... a thoughtful book that takes the Witnesses' own beliefs and words seriously.' - Publishers Weekly

'It is a clear, accurate, well-constructed, high-quality academic, sociological analysis of a modern millenarian movement ... The author is a skilled and experienced sociologist, and this book is an example of the clearest writing and the best research that can be produced by this important academic discipline.' - The Revd Thaddeus Birchard, Church Times

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781134501519
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
11/12/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
1,168,837
File size:
1 MB

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