Jehovah's Witnesses and the Secular World

From the 1870s to the Present

  • Zoe Knox

Part of the Histories of the Sacred and Secular, 1700-2000 book series (HISASE)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Zoe Knox
    Pages 1-28
  3. Zoe Knox
    Pages 61-106
  4. Zoe Knox
    Pages 107-147
  5. Zoe Knox
    Pages 149-201
  6. Zoe Knox
    Pages 203-244
  7. Zoe Knox
    Pages 245-291
  8. Zoe Knox
    Pages 293-305
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 307-316

About this book


This book examines the tensions between Jehovah’s Witnesses and government authorities, civic organisations, established churches and the broader public generated by the Watch Tower Society’s teachings. Witnesses originated in the 1870s as small, loose-knit groups calling themselves Bible Students. Today, there are some eight million Witnesses worldwide, all actively engaged in evangelism. The author analyses issues that have brought them global visibility and even notoriety, including political neutrality, public ministry, blood transfusion, and anti-ecumenism.  It also explores anti-Witness campaigns, from media portrayals of the community as marginal and exotic to the anti-cult movement.  Focusing on varied historical, ideological and national contexts, the book argues that Witnesses have had a defining influence on conceptions of religious tolerance in the modern world.


Watchtower Society Religious Tolerance Persecution Charles Russell Joseph Rutherford Nathan Knorr Evangelism Anti-ecumenism

Authors and affiliations

  • Zoe Knox
    • 1
  1. 1.School of History, Politics & International RelationsUniversity of LeicesterLeicesterUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, London
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-1-137-39604-4
  • Online ISBN 978-1-137-39605-1
  • Buy this book on publisher's site