140 Years Strong: A Historical and Critical Analysis of the Primary Mechanisms Employed by the Jehovah’s Witnesses to Grow in a Hostile World

Allen, Donald (2019) 140 Years Strong: A Historical and Critical Analysis of the Primary Mechanisms Employed by the Jehovah’s Witnesses to Grow in a Hostile World. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

For most of their existence the Jehovah’s Witnesses have rarely been the subject of academic study. The works resulting from the little interest they have received have focused on how the Witnesses have affected the world around them through their constant proselytizing, their prohibition on blood transfusions, their strident conscientious objection and other beliefs and practices. Several nations around the world have attempted to destroy the Witnesses’ very existence within their borders. The internal aspects of the Witnesses however are given little thought and the question of why they have been able to survive in what is often a hostile world has remained unanswered. A close study of the history and development of the major mechanisms they continue to use is necessary to fully comprehend how they were able to have this impact. This work answers that question by focusing on the history of the Witnesses and analyzing how they developed and use three key mechanisms to combat any issues that arise from their often contentious relations with the world at large: the Governing Body; the concept of “new light”; and their constant preaching work and what it means to their unity. Here the lens is turned from focusing on the impact that the Witnesses have had on the world to focusing on the internal mechanisms that have allowed them to continue to grow. This work provides a deeper knowledge of the Witnesses than only looking at the results of the events can. In turn it will allow for better understandings of the events themselves by future scholars, who will have a greater understanding of how the Witnesses work and a better realization that without this understanding of what allows the Witnesses to continue to impact the world, many of their achievements appear to come from nowhere.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Art, Media and American Studies
Depositing User: Stacey Armes
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2019 15:41
Last Modified: 27 Nov 2019 15:41
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/73177
DOI:

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