Jehovah's Witnesses: Continuity and Change

Routledge
Free sample

From its origins in nineteenth century Adventism until the present day, the Watch Tower Society has become one of the best known but least understood new religious movements. Resisting the tendency to define the movement in terms of the negative, this volume offers an empathetic account of the Jehovah's Witnesses, without defending or seeking to refute their beliefs. George Chryssides critically examines the historical and theological bases of the organization's teachings and practices, and discusses the changes and continuities which have defined it. The book provides a valuable resource for scholars of new religious movements and contemporary religion.
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About the author

George D. Chryssides is a Visiting Fellow at York St John University, and was previously Head of Religious Studies at the University of Wolverhampton. He has published extensively in scholarly journals and has authored and edited several books including The Path of Buddhism (1988), The Advent of Sun Myung Moon (1991), The Elements of Unitarianism (1998), Exploring New Religions (1999), A Reader in New Religious Movements (co-edited with Margaret Z. Wilkins, 2006), Historical Dictionary of Jehovah's Witnesses (2008), Christianity Today (2010), Heaven's Gate (2011), Christians in the Twenty-First Century (with Margaret Z. Wilkins, 2011), Historical Dictionary of New Religious Movements (2nd edn 2012), The Study of Religion (with Ron Geaves, 2nd edn 2013), and The Bloomsbury Companion to New Religious Movements (with Benjamin E. Zeller, 2014).
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Additional Information

Publisher
Routledge
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Published on
Dec 5, 2016
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9781351925426
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Language
English
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Genres
Philosophy / Religious
Religion / Theology
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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An objective, well-researched history of contemporary new religions and cults.New religious movements - popularly known as cults - arouse strong public opinion and most books on the subject are polemical, giving hostile reaction rather than informed exploration. Exploring New Religions provides an account of a wide variety of new religions, focusing on their origins, beliefs and practices, which are set out in a dispassionate way, leaving readers to form their own value judgements. George Chryssides provides important analysis of the killer cults-the Jonestown People's Temple, Waco, the Solar Temple and Heaven's Gate-examining the factors that made their followers willing to die for their cause. Older groups like the Jehovah's Witnesses and Latter-day Saints (Mormons) are discussed, and Chryssides traces the development of a variety of strands of spirituality, ranging from New Thought, Spiritualism and Theosophy. Subsequent chapters include the Baha'i, the Family (formerly Children of God), the Hare Krishna movement (ISKCON), the Jesus Army, the Rastafarians, the Church of Scientology, Transcendental Meditation (TM) and the Unification Church ('the Moonies'). Lower profile groups are also discussed including: EST (Erhard Seminar Training), the New Kadampa Tradition, Brahma Kumaris, Sai Baba, Subud and the Western Buddhist Order. A study of the New Age phenomenon, and an account of societal responses to new religions at religious, societal and political levels is also included.
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