Thursday, January 22, 2009

Article On Jehovah's Witness Growth In The United States

Article title
Institutional versus Contextual Explanations for the Growth Of the Jehovah's Witnesses in the United States, 1945-2002
Author
Sturgis, P.W.
Journal title
REVIEW OF RELIGIOUS RESEARCH
Bibliographic details
2008, VOL 49; NUMB 3, pages 290-300


The author argues Witness postwar growth in the US is mainly due to Watchtower organizational initiatives rather than US demographic trends. But isn't this a statement of the bleeding obvious - I mean surely it is a given that an increase from about 50,000 to 1,000,000 cannot be explained on the basis of the increase in the US population alone. I am sure there are more interesting things could be said about JW growth than simply that.
He does make the interesting observation that 12% of US Witnesses are foreign born rather than 7% for the US population in general. That would seem to indicate immigrants account for a significant but not overwhelming amount of the postwar Witness growth in the US.

10 comments:

W. Lockhart said...

As you've probably noticed, I oppose the witnesses, and religion, for dozens of reasons which I have often stated. However, I have little interest in their growth rate or lack thereof.

Why? because it's irrelevant. Half the USA believe that the world was created after the domestication of the dog - do the sheer numbers of people involved have any bearing on the truth? Absolutely not.

The JWs sometimes experience strong growth, sometimes not, sometimes it is due to demographics, sometimes not. I realise this subject may be of some academic interest to you, and that's fine, but I wonder if you realise, it comes across as though you're grasping at anything to criticise the witnesses.

I've been accused of this myself by those seeking to change the subject, but in this case, it seems you seek to discredit the witness based on a false assumption - the assumption that they couldn't possibly have grown so much for reasons of enthusiasm, so another explanation must be sought. This is incorrect.

In other words, it would not matter if their growth had been explosive, or it the reason for it was some kind of amazing enthusiasm. Zeal does make a person correct. The truth of reality remains the truth even if the entire planet can't see it.

Rover said...

I agree with W. Lockhart on this article. Growth does not matter, and nobody here cares about this article.

practicesmiling said...

I disagree. The demographics of Witnesses compared to the rest of the United States is interesting to me.

Yeah I said it said...

i miss the frequent posts here....just wanted to let you know they're read and very important.

thanks.

thedude said...

JWs have God's blessing for doing his work. Growth will come from the people who want to do God's will.

JohnP said...

The growth of anointed is interesting to see.

thedude said...

There has been no growth in the anointed.

The number of partakers has gone up.

But partaking does not make one anointed anymore than my sitting in the Oval Office makes me the president.

Ringwielder said...

So why have the JWs in times past attached so much importance to it?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skppA3KzWbk&feature=sdig&et=1238791410.74

Voice of Reason said...

Ringwelder,

Because they wanted to.

Ringwielder said...

Ah, Good answer.