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Jehovah’s Witnesses

(1,040 words)

Author(s): Reimer, Hans-Diether
1. Background Jehovah’s Witnesses were organized as a missionary “service corporation.” The parent organization is the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society (1881, WTS) in Brooklyn, New York, with branch offices around the world. Leadership is vested in the lifelong president and (as of the year 2000) a corporation of 13 members, through which “God himself” rules (Theocracy). The worldwide field in which preachers are gathered and commissioned is divided into branches, districts, circuits, and congr…


(1,739 words)

Author(s): Pöhler, Rolf J. | Reimer, Hans-Diether | Land, Gary
Adventism began as a 19th-century apocalyptic movement (Apocalypticism 3) in the United States. It led directly to the development of the Advent Christian Church, the Church of God of the Abrahamic Faith, and, the largest of the Adventist denominations, the Seventh-day Adventist Church (SDA). Other groups influenced by, but less directly connected with, Adventism include the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Worldwide Church of God. 1. History During the first half of the 19th century the United States experienced an evangelical religious revival known as the Second…


(716 words)

Author(s): Reimer, Hans-Diether
Denominations that include “New Church” or “New Jerusalem” in their names, found mostly in Britain, the United States, and South and West Africa, all go back to the Swedish “visionary” (so I. Kant) Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772), the first in the modern period to present revelations from the spirit world. As a brilliant scientist, engineer, and inventor, Swedenborg was one of the leading thinkers of his age. He had doubts, however, regarding whether we can truly grasp reality with scientific mea…