The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity

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9780195183078: The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity
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The first edition of The Next Christendom has been hailed as a landmark in our understanding of modern Christianity. In this new and substantially expanded second edition, Jenkins continues to illuminate the remarkable expanion of Christianity in the global South--in Africa, Asia, and Latin America--as well as the clash betwen Islam and Christianity since September 11. Among the major topics covered are the growing schism between Northern and Southern churches over issues of gender and sexuality, immigrant and ethnic churches in North America, and a special section on the split within the Anglican Communion. The first in a three-book trilogy on the changes besetting modern Christianity, this award-winning book will be welcomed by all of those who have come to recognize Philip Jenkins as one of our leading commentators on religion and world affairs.

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Philip Jenkins is Distinguished Professor of History and Religious Studies at Pennsylvania State University.

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*Starred Review* Fear of Islam is peaking, fueled by reports that the religion is burgeoning in numbers as well as militancy. Jenkins grants that Islam is indeed booming but marshals the evidence that today's largest religion, Christianity, will grow exponentially, too, and will remain the faith of the largest proportion of humanity. But the Christianity of 2050 will be very different from that molded by the 1,300 years during which Christianity was the faith of a rapidly developing Europe. The new Christianity will be liturgically anarchistic compared with the staid services of white, upper-middle-class people today. It will be overwhelmingly the faith of poor nonwhites living south of Europe, the U.S., and present-day Russia, and it won't reflect the values of the wealthy global north. It will revive Christianity's root emphases on healing and prophecy because its adherents will resemble the poor and oppressed who first embraced the redemption, the healing, and the blessing that Jesus promised. As he makes his case, Jenkins dispels some fashionable myths about historic Christianity; about historic Christian-Islamic relations; and about the nature of presumably pacific Hinduism when it is politicized. He also speculates trenchantly on how the problems of the Islamic and Christian global south will affect the global north, requiring genuine charity of the rich and genuine discernment of their leaders. A book everyone concerned about humanity's immediate future ought to read. Ray Olson
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