chapter  9
Pages 5

Throughout this book, I have argued that the relationship between the Witnesses and the modern world is ambivalent and contradictory. Until recently, sociological literature has tended to propound the view that worldrenouncing sectarian religion cannot survive the onslaught of modernity which is, among other things, rational, secular and materialistic. But these theories offer scant empirical analysis of millenarian movements. The rise of the modern state, modern capitalism and modern science have no doubt been the cause of great tension between faith and reason, but they can in no way be shown to have brought about the death of God. The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society is an example of a religious movement that has freed itself from traditional churches, and yet it has still managed to maintain a piety that is as ascetic and puritanical as any version of orthodox Christianity. Curiously enough, its tirade against the modern world is one of the factors that has contributed to its success.