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Jehovah's Witnesses: A Study on Intentional Community Essay

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Jehovah’s Witnesses, a sect of the Adventist movement, founded in 1872 by Charles Taze Russell are one of the most unusually strict biblical literalist groups in the world. They are strict to their interpretation of scripture to a fault, as intentional communities go this, as most religion based groups, is one which depends upon the charisma of the biblical character Jesus while looking almost yearningly forward to the “end of days” a time during which the supposedly wicked will be cast into purgatory and the chosen will ascend to heaven, and the righteous will inherit the earth to live in paradise for eternity.
Jehovah’s Witnesses base their beliefs on a literal interpretation of the bible citing Revelations 7:1-8 which describes the
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Gilmour indicates in his Journal of Religion and Society article “An Outsider’s Notes on the Jehovah’s Withnesses’: Revelation: Its Grand Climax at Hand” (Journal of Religion and Society pg.8) readers of any text are guided by protocols which shape the interpretation of the text they are reading.
While these biblical literalists are usually dismissed as a cult, as I would dismiss any religion, they’re a very successful intentional community as well, let’s examine why.
As a group Witnesses have a very strong support system that is designed to incorporate charity, caring, and affirming of belief, if one of their members is absent for an extended period of time all avenues available, if a member of their congregation needs for something then the whole of the congregation is informed of the situation and on the norm expected to do whatever they can to aid the brother/sister in need. They incorporate the entire congregation into the designing and building of their churches called “kingdom halls”
As we know from class discussion and the article by Richard Sosis and Eric Bressler communitas is a very important aspect of any intentional community and these qualities as well as the costly religious rituals help to solidify the community and promote communitas (Cooperation and Commune Longevity: A Test of the Costly Signaling
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