Tuesday, October 18, 2016

So you know ...



            We’ve added a new chapter to our outline. While this may frustrate some of you who wish for a speedy release of the next volume, we think it is a key and necessary addition. We will present an overview of American and ‘other’ religious and social history. Almost without exception, histories of the Watch Tower movement are disconnected from their social setting. It is impossible to evaluate it without understanding its connection to contemporary events and attitudes.
         This requires fresh research into frequently covered topics. American religious history as commonly presented is revisionist and disconnected from reality. This is particularly true of the interplay between Catholics and Protestants in the United States. The usual presentation of American anti-Catholicism excuses Catholic excesses and blames narrow-minded Protestants. It ignores Catholic machinations, which were quite real and not Protestant myth making. An example of this sort of revisionist history is a lecture by Ryan Reeves, professor at Gordon-Conwell, inserted here.


            
           Reeves is articulate, presenting an engaging lecture, but his lecture is a white-wash. In key areas what he says is not true, not even close to truth. We have to remedy this fault which is common to recent writers and lecturers, and do it in a clearly documented way.
            Social issues that influenced Russell and Watch Tower readers are ignored by recent writers. This is especially true of Watchtower Society produced ‘histories’, but true of almost every consideration of the Watch Tower movement. We must present these issues in a clear and concise way so that our readers come away from this chapter understanding these issues without being overwhelmed or bored by detail. This is not easy.
            So ... you know where we are.
            You should know that this is a busy time of year for Mr. Schulz and me. I’m in the middle of course work leading to certification. Mr. Schulz is involved with a school district committee that affects his area of expertise. So, while we may wish to be fully engaged in research and writing, we cannot be at this time.

6 comments:

Andrew Martin said...

Thanks for posting this - looking forward to viewing the video in its entirety tomorrow - and to any clarifications or corrections of American History as commonly taught. May have a personal experience from my school days to share afterwards.

jerome said...

I will look forward to having a look at the video tomorrow. The problem is, however, that you tell us this take on history is wrong. Now my grasp of American history outside of Watch Tower materials, is tenuous, so I am not going to be able to sort out the wheat from the chaff. Can you post a YouTube link that gets it right?

Andrew Martin said...

Jerome - you can always call on me. I live in the States, and we can compare notes.

:)

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

I don't know of any youtube video that is comprehensive and useful.

Anonymous said...

Excellent. This is most timely for other 19th century American preachers I am presently interested in, such as Finney, Moody, Beecher and others. Were the social issues that motivated Russell and early WT adherents the same/similar as those that prompted these men? What interaction, if any, existed between them? In the days before US Fundamentalism was given its name and took exception to Millennial Dawn teachings, how closely connected was Russell? (With apologies to Bruce and Rachael if this was covered in Seperate Identity vol. 1. It has been a while since I read it.)

Son of Ton

Semer said...

I'm looking forward to your book, but if this means a delay, I'm sure it will be more than worth it.