chapter  2
The Jehovah’s Witnesses in the modern world
Pages 25

Before we can begin to establish the Witnesses’ status at the beginning of the twenty-first century, we need to know something about their organisation’s evolution and doctrines. These details help us to understand the culture in which the Witnesses operate and allow us to consider the various compatibilities and incompatibilities between the Watch Tower Society and the outside world. Moreover, the hierarchical structure of the movement enables devotees to resist those forces that might threaten their status as bona fide members of a system they call ‘the truth’. In short, an enquiry into what the Witnesses believe, how they came to believe it and how they are able to reaffirm these beliefs internally aids our understanding of their relationship with modernity.