chapter
4 Pages

Introduction

Despite the profusion of books on Jehovah’s Witnesses, there are few serious academic studies, and the last substantial work was James Beckford’s e Trumpet of Prophecy in 1975. Much has happened to the Watch Tower Society since then, and this present book seeks to bring things more up to date. Taking the theme of ‘Continuity and Change’, this study aims to explore the origins of the Society, how it has developed over the past century and a quarter, and the reasons for its changes. I have tried to combine historical and thematic approaches or – in scholars’ jargon – synchronic and diachronic methods of study, since changes which have occurred in the Society’s history relate to specic themes.