Jehovah's Witnesses: Portrait of a Contemporary Religious Movement

By Andrew Holden | Go to book overview

Acknowledgements

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all those people who have helped me in the preparation and writing of this book. My heartfelt thanks go to Professor Eileen Barker at the London School of Economics for her suggestions regarding content and style. I hope she feels the advice she gave me was worthwhile. I owe an enormous debt to Professor Suzette Heald and Dr Sarah Franklin for commenting on my earlier drafts and listening to my incessant talk about the sociology of religion. I am grateful to Professor Larry Ray at the University of Kent for helping me to refine my theoretical framework and for steering me towards literature of which I was only dimly aware. Thanks also to Professor John Urry and Professor Ian Reader, both from the University of Lancaster, for talking to me about the finer details of publishing.

My biggest tribute goes to my parents and to my sister, Anne, for all the love they have shown me over the years. It is to them that I dedicate this work. As with everything else I have done, they have been a dependable source of support throughout the whole period of my research when it must have appeared to them like they were the last thing on my mind. Their forbearance is quite remarkable.

My next acknowledgement is also rather special. It is to my friend Joyce Donnelly, who spent hundreds of hours proofreading my text and helping me with presentation. I used her shamelessly for both these tasks and she asked for nothing in return. I am overwhelmed at Joyce's kindness and at the relentless sacrifices she made, especially when her own workload was every bit as demanding as mine. But then she is like that.

It would be remiss of me not to record my appreciation to the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society for granting me permission to quote from its tracts. I am particularly grateful to the devotees of the Blackburn congregation for welcoming me into their homes and answering my questions. Elder Joe Bennett deserves a special mention for being so generous with his time and so impervious to my naivety. Without his assistance, I would not have been able to carry out the fieldwork or make contact with other members. I hope he will forgive me for failing to join him in his spiritual mission!

-xii-

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Jehovah's Witnesses: Portrait of a Contemporary Religious Movement
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgements xii
  • 1 - The End is Nigh 1
  • 2 - The Jehovah's Witnesses in the Modern World 17
  • 3 - Finding a Home 42
  • 4 - Rational Means to Rational Ends 58
  • 5 - Returning to Eden 82
  • 6 - Inside, Outside 103
  • 7 - Honour Thy Father and Thy Mother 125
  • 8 - The Fear of Freedom 150
  • 9 - Conclusion 171
  • Notes 176
  • Glossary 185
  • Bibliography 189
  • Index 202
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