When did the Jehovah's Witnesses officially become a "religion"?
Fink: there were already a set of doctrines previously established before the 1950's and there were Kingdom Halls built before that time too.
Of course there were disfellowshipping practices already in place - that is how the top dogs stayed top dogs. But, it was in 1952 that the rules expanded, changed, and enlarged to include all of the lowly congregants and became even more regulated from the top down.
"there were Kingdom Halls built before that time too." And? What of it? Are you conflating tax breaks with property builds? Tax breaks apply to more than just Kingdom Halls being built
Ah yes, but as the Society often says " there is a difference between the 'TRUE' religion and 'FALSE' religion"
Good response overall OrphanCrow. I follow it, especially the organization embracing the word they once scorned, "Religion". The only part I would part company over is the link you make between the formalizing of the organization's policies on disfellowshipping in 1952 and its gaining tax exemption. These occurred at roughly the same time but were more correlational than linked.
My understanding is that the tightening of policies around disfellowshipping was due to considerable disquiet among the rank and file over emerging inconsistencies in the application of the practise of disfellowshipping. For example, my maternal JW grandfather who was a presiding overseer back then (or the equivalent) told me that some congregations were disfellowshipping brothers and sisters without even having meetings with them (there had been no explicit arrangement to meet with the alleged guilty parties!) and the Society (as it was then fondly called) was deluged with all manner of correspondence from concerned Witnesses about the confusion and injustices
oh no--dont tell me it became a religion ?? i fondly remember it as an organisation. a society.
next you will be telling me they worship god. whatever next ?
In Russell's time his followers were self assumed true Christians as well (IBSA) so would it not be appropriate to say then that organized following of the IBSA was also a religion ?
It really became essentially a religion before the heads of the organization realized or accepted that it was .
Religion is any cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, world views, texts, sanctified places, ethics, or organizations, that relate humanity to the supernatural or transcendental. Religions relate humanity to what anthropologist Clifford Geertz has referred to as a cosmic "order of existence". However, there is no scholarly consensus over what precisely constitutes a religion
But when, exactly, did it change from a "movement" to a "religion"?
It never was a religion; it was a cult from day one.