Jehovah’s Witnesses in scholarly perpective:

Evolution of the group, evolution of the research about it

April 21-22 2016 Anvers, Belgium

International congress organised by The European Observatory

of Religion and Secularism

In partnership with CLIMAS, Université Bordeaux Montaigne, CESNUR (Turin) and the Faculty of Comparative Studies of Religion and Humanism (FVG), 

Bist 162. 2610 Wilrijke, ANTWERP 

European Observatory of Religion and Secularism (France)


CLIMAS, Université Bordeaux Montaigne (France)


CESNUR - Center for Studies on New Religions

Torino (Italy) 

Comparative Studies of Religion and Humanism (FVG) (Belgium)

In the past 50 years scholarly research has gone from relative ignorance of the Jehovah’s Witnesses to profound curiosity. When in the 70s there were few serious studies of the movement, the bibliography is now extremely rich. Parallel with the evolution of the scholarly gaze, the group itself has considerably evolved since that time.

The European observatory of religion and secularism feels that it is time to bring together scholars and students who have studied the group in order to compare and combine their works and provide our community with an up to date state of the arts analysis of this most significant minority religion.



Program :

Organizing committee: Chris Vonck, Régis Dericquebourg, Bernadette Rigal-Cellard, Massimo Introvigne.
Technical and domestic assistance: Ernie Vonck, Lydia Bonte, Yara Goth and Mohamed Aziz.

Thursday April 21, 2016

9h registration

10h 30.Opening speechesProfessor Chris Vonck, Rector of the FVG.

Dr. Henri Rosenberg, LL.D, PhD (Trustee of the Board and Professor of Jewish Law)

Chair : Régis Dericquebourg

11h-11h 45. Keynote speaker: George D. Chryssides (York, St John University, UK)
The Truth is out there –And How Jehovah’s Witnesses Find it.

12 h. Lunch

Thursday afternoon
Session 1: Theology and practices of Jehovah’s Witnesses
Chair: Massimo Introvigne

14h. Miquel Angel Plaza Navas (CSIC, Spanish National Research Council, Barcelona)
Music and Jehovah’s Witnesses: an historical approach to their hymnal and music practices.

14h 30. Rolf J. Furuli (University of Oslo)
The Mental Health of Jehovah’s witnesses.

15h. Zoe Knox (The University of Leicester, UK)
The Theology, Practice and Promotion of the Blood Doctrine.

15h 30. Coffee Break

15h 45. Donald Raymond Jacobs (Independent Researcher) Scotland, UK
Unofficial Jehovah’s Witness Apologetics: The Rise and Fall of a Precarious Community.

16h 15. Philippe Barbey (Paris 5 Descartes-Sorbonne)
Jehovah’s Witnesses: Between Tradition and Modernity.

17h 15.  Discussion

Friday April 22
Session 2: World perspective on the Jehovah’s Witnesses
Chair: Chris Vonck

 9h 30. Willy Fautré (Human Right without Frontiers Int.)
A History of The Jehovah’s Witnesses in Belgium.

10h. Massimo Introvigne (Pontifical Salesian University, Turin, director of CESNUR)
Jehovah’s Witnesses in Italy: A Story of Success and Controversies.

10h 30. Coffee break

10h 45. Emily Baran (Middle Tennessee State University)
Secular School and Witness Children in Soviet Ukraine.

11h 15. Ringo Ringvee (Institute of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church)
From Controversial Bible Students to respected Bible Translators? Some reflections on the reception of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Baltic States.

11h 45. Tim Richter (University of South Australia)
International Bible Students and Jehovah‘s Witnesses in the Australian Press (1896-1941).

12h 15. Discussion.

12h 30. Lunch.

Session 3: French Workshop
Chair: Bernadette Rigal-Cellard

14 h. Laurie Larvent (Université d’Artois-ARRAS)
Une opposition au jéhovisme : Le Mouvement missionnaire intérieur laïque.
[Opposition to the Jehovah’s Witnesses: the Mouvement missionnaire intérieur laïque]

14h 30. Mouna Alghosayn Zaiter (Université Bordeaux Montaigne)

Les Témoins de Jéhovah au Liban aujourd'hui.
[The Jehovah’s Witnesses in Lebanon Today]

15 h. Bernard Blandre (Président-fondateur AEIRM, Sarreguemines)
Russell, les adventistes et les premiers étudiants de la Bible.
[Russel, the Adventists and the first Bible students]

15h. 45 Régis Dericquebourg ( FVG & GSRL-CNRS Paris)
La naissance d’un prophétisme en société industrielle. Rationalité de marché et économie du charisme. A propos de Charles Taze Russel.
[The rise of a prophetism in an industrial society. Market rationality and the economy of charisma. About Charles Taze Russel]


16h. 15 Discussion and concluding remarks 

Conference program
Document Adobe Acrobat 579.8 KB


 Religious sociology



  Website of thesis  http://philippebarbey.jimdo.com/ 

Doctoral School

Human & Social Sciences , cultures, individuals, societies - ED 180



Laboratory of research



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