chapter  3
Finding a home
Pages 16

My argument so far is that the Witnesses construct their identity in a world that is characterised by a plurality of life options, and that their fundamentalist theology is a modern phenomenon which can be seen as a response to certain conditions of modernity – particularly that of uncertainty. In this chapter, I address a number of key questions; namely: To what kind of people do the Witnesses appeal? At what point in an individual’s life does conversion become a serious prospect? And why are these individuals drawn to this particular movement? The first two questions relate to the converts themselves, including their family backgrounds, their previous religious affiliation and their state of mind at the time of their conversion. The third question relates to the Watch Tower community and the ways in which its doctrines, internal organisation and social relations appeal to the prospective recruit. Throughout the chapter, I will show how both sets of factors work simultaneously in attracting a certain type of individual. More importantly, I will argue that the Witnesses are able to offer a way of life that is of particular significance at the beginning of the twenty-first century.